Unauthorized billboards being removed

An eight-year legal battle has ended and Prague can now remove hundreds of signs

Unauthorized advertising signs will be disappearing from Prague, following the conclusion of an almost eight-year legal battle.

City Hall has been successful in its long-running litigation against the advertising company euroAWK and its sister company ORIS.

Work has now started to remove these companies’ unauthorized advertising billboards located along important Prague traffic arteries, City Hall said in a press release.

By the end of 2018, the first 50 will disappear from Prague streets and more than 400 will follow in early 2019.

The litigation with both companies began in 2010 following the expiration of a contract. EuroAWK and ORIS had been using important Prague streets and roads to place their advertising signs, and continued to do so after the end of the relevant contracts.

“In an effort to maintain the lucrative use of the land of the City of Prague, euroAWK and ORIS took advantage of all available procedural means, including a number of extraordinary remedies, and the length of the court proceedings was disproportionately lengthened. We consider it a great success that, after such a long period of time the case has moved from words to actions, and the unauthorized advertising signs are gradually being removed,” Jan Rak, director of property management for City Hall, said in a press release.

The city hopes to reduce the amount of advertising in the long run, and equates advertising signs with pollution.

“Prague continues its strategy to cleanse the city from the advertising smog that disrupts and destroys the city’s authentic character. Additionally, this process will improve the quality of the public space for Praguers and create greater safety, in this particular case especially traffic safety, on key traffic arteries. These spaces are currently overused to present various advertising messages,” City Councilor Jan Chabr (United Force for Prague), responsible for the property, said.

The previous administration of City Hall at the beginning of 2017 approved that all advertising media will disappear from the Prague Monument Reserve that covers Prague 1 and some adjacent areas. In other parts of Prague, advertising facilities will have to comply with strict regulatory measures.

From the beginning of 2019, the stricter rules will be implemented. The rules were prepared by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR). In some places, advertising will disappear completely, and in others, some types of large-format billboards will disappear. The new rules also regulate how to place advertising in order to make it less disturbing in the urban environment.

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