Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

MOTORISTS driving on the busy A38 into Birmingham this week were treated to the sight of the large, illuminated head of Damian Vernon projected on to the side of the West Midlands police headquarters along with the words, `Wanted in connection with robbery'. It is nice to know that the constabulary is attending to its duties - and also interesting to note that the police are able to get away with an act which would itself land any other freeborn Englishman on a 'wanted' poster. Carrying a large advertisement, even on the side of your own building, is forbidden without planning consent. Traders who have applied for permission for such a sign have often found it refused on the grounds that the police have ruled it would be a distraction to motorists.

There are many bossy laws concerning where you can and cannot display an advert, few of which make sense. For example, you are allowed to hoist a flag advertising your business, but only if the flagpole is vertical. …

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