Floating Billboards Continue Even After Governor Signs Ban

Digital billboards floating on boats on the Hudson River have been broadcasting advertising for months. The governor signed a bill on Monday to ban the practice. But an operator of the billboards was undeterred by the ban, according to the Times.

Adam Shapiro, the company’s chief executive, said on Monday he was disappointed by the governor’s decision but remained “undeterred.”

“Our legal team believes these changes to the navigation law do not prohibit us from operating,” he said in a statement. “Instead they offer clarity on what we can and cannot display with our platform. As such, Ballyhoo intends to continue providing an innovative platform that encourages creativity, collaboration, and community.”

And on Friday morning, a billboard could be seen on the Hudson from 70th Street (it’s not clear that it is owned by Ballyhoo).

“I guess no one is taking this ban seriously,” wrote Sally, who took the photo above.


NEWS, OUTDOORS | 12 comments | permalink
    1. RCP says:

      Welcome to America where the rule of law reigns supreme.

    2. Eric says:

      Perhaps it was traveling on the New Jersey half of the river? Likely the bill is not in force outside of New York State.

    3. Christine E says:

      I agree with Eric, the river is half NY and half NJ. So it still can be floated on the NJ side.

      Also, as with any law, passing it is one thing, and enforcement is another. I do wish that laws included resources regarding enforcement. As in, what agency is responsible and how will they receive training, funding, staffing, boats, etc. Otherwise the law is pointless.

    4. davidaron60 says:

      Looks like someone stole the billboard from The Beacon and put it on a barge.

    5. AC says:

      My understanding was that the number of floating billboards was to be limited and not totally banned.

    6. robert says:

      That because it is NOT part NYS It is a “navigable water way” and therefore NYS law doesn’t have jurisdiction. This was nothing more than pandering

    7. Ben Orlove says:

      I saw a floating billboard too. It looked like it might be within New Jersey waters. Perhaps there is some way to negotiate with groups on the other side of the river.

    8. S says:

      We saw a digital floating billboard (I remember the play ‘Wicked’ was one of the screens and another was promoting travel to Jamaica) while we were at the river’s edge about 91st Street for the (New York International Air Show) flyover Thursday morning, 8/22. It was closer to the NJ shoreline than to NY.

    9. David T. says:

      I’m glad that photographer Sally blurred the picture, so that we don’t increase the reach of the wretched.

    10. Kerry says:

      You can’t even see these advertisements clearly…its just a really bright boat cruising down the Hudson. I feel this is a waste of money to the advertisers.

    11. Todd says:

      Saw the ugly billboard barge floating down the Hudson from apt. in the 90s today. It’s just plain tacky, and mars the view. It goes right down the very middle of the river, so much for sea lane or staying away from main shipping. The one ad I could read was for Wicked the Musical. This needs to stop.

    12. Ted says:

      The Ballyhoo floating billboards are about as ugly a contraption as I’ve seen. It would be interesting to see if a Coast Guard inspection would find any inadequacies in their safety or navigation systems. I think the the NYPD and the Coast Guard should stop and board them regularly to ensure they are held to the highest standard. If any violations are found, it would be a great use of those disgusting civil forfeiture laws to impound them.