Miami Beach's Floating Billboards: A Nuisance on Water

The picturesque ocean front of Miami Beach is being sullied by digital billboards now floating off shore on boats, outside the reach of the city's authority.

1 minute read

March 3, 2017, 6:00 AM PST

By jwilliams @jwillia22


Miami Beach

Pietro & Silvia / Flickr

Boats pulling large, floating digital billboards have taken to the waters off of Miami Beach, and residents and city officials are not happy about it. Brittany Shammas of Miami New Times reports that the floating billboards have so far eluded regulations by sitting in the ocean just outside the city's jurisdiction. Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez argues that the billboards are obnoxious and intrusive, while the company operating the billboards argues they are no different than other advertisements that target the beach, including airplane fly overs. The commission voted to ban the billboards in early February, but the boat operator moved outside of the regulated areas.

Adam Shapiro, owner of the boat advertising company, says the new law only pertains to parts of Biscayne Bay and that he will continue sailing in ocean waters off Miami Beach.

"Although we cannot display advertising in certain areas in Biscayne Bay, we are excited to operate along the shores of Miami Beach (our primary targeted area)," he said in a statement. "[We're] advancing beach communication into the 21st century by offering price points to support local business, displaying PSA's and raising awareness for environmental causes through our digital platform."

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