Should floating billboards be allowed on Lake Washington?on May 18, 2012 @ 9:44 am (Updated: 12:04 pm - 5/18/12 )
i Alternative Media tested out their new i AM Phibious billboards on Lake Washington on Thursday. (Image courtesy i Alternative Media)
An advertising and marketing executive wants to put floating billboards on Lake Union and Lake Washington in Seattle.
Seattle police and regulators say there are no rules against the floating ads.
But 97.3 KIRO FM host Luke Burbank thinks regulations are on the horizon.
"That law is going to get changed probably by the time the show is over today," Burbank said in a discussion of the story on The Ross and Burbank Show Friday.
"Nobody wants to see this," says Burbank.
Darran Bruce, with i Alternative Media, the company that came up with the idea, tells KING 5 he thought of it one day while driving across a floating bridge. He says, "I see scenery; I see beauty; I see opportunity."
Bruce tested a 14-foot-tall floating placard Thursday on Lake Washington. Sections could be linked together to create a 192-foot-long billboard towed by a boat.
"My heart breaks for the waterfront property owners," says co-host Dave Ross. "I hate the idea."
But for the purpose of discussion, Ross asks how this is any different from aerial advertising.
"The difference is that the sky is nearly infinite. Lake Washington and Lake Union are not at all. If you've ever been out there on a busy day, there are tons of boats. You're trying to avoid people," says Burbank.
They also discussed whether the person selling advertising should have to pay a fee for use of the lake.
"He's gone out and found this thing that we all own together and we all pay for the upkeep of, and he's monetizing it for his own good," says Burbank. "If you put up a billboard along Aurora, you can't just go on Aurora and pick your spot, drill down to the ground and erect a billboard and say 'here it is.' You've got to get the person who owns the land to allow you to do this."
Burbank suggests if this is going to move forward, the advertising company should be required to make payment to the parks or the county.
But Ross says there's already plenty of businesses making money off the lake.
"When the good time cruises sell tickets and cruise along Lake Washington, they don't pay the Lake Washington shore owners association anything for that. They just collect the money and tool around Lake Washington."
By JAMIE GRISWOLD, MyNorthwest.com Editor
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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