Limitations on outdoor advertising became nationwide with the passage by Congress of The Bonus Act in 1958 and The Highway Beautification Act of 1965. However, in July 1981, the Supreme Court suddenly reversed directions and imposed stringent first amendment limitations on the power of government to regulate outdoor advertising. In Metromedia, Inc. v. City of San Diego, the Court overturned a complex billboard ordinance that had been crafted over a period of years. The result was a setback for advocates of regulation that is destined to prolong their dispute with outdoor advertisers for the foreseeable future. This paper attempts to assess, as far as is possible at this early stage, the effects of Metromedia's application of first amendment doctrine to the regulation of outdoor advertising. First, a review is made of the recent first amendment developments on which the Court relied. Against that background, an analysis and critique of the Metromedia decision is given. This discussion is followed by the responses of lower courts to that decision. The paper concludes with an appraisal of the prospects for control of outdoor advertising in light of Metromedia and its progeny.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00488255
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0-309-02434-X
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Addendum 4
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 30 1989 12:00AM