Following the prosecution of Sony and BMG executives in June (by North London's borough of Camden) for sanctioning illegal billposting [WAMN: 03-Jun-04], a British parliamentary committee has demanded tougher penalties to curb the growing nuisance.
The House of Commons cross-party environmental select committee yesterday called on the Blair administration to impose new punishments including community service orders and draconian fines against the perpetrators, for whom the current level of penalties is little more than petty cash -- a maximum of £2000 ($3,635; €3,011). Peanuts alongside the cost of hiring legally sited billboards.
A defence favoured by perpetrators' senior executives is that they are unaware their products were being promoted illegally. A loophole the committee is determined to block.
Westminster Council has already threatened chief executives at some of the worst offending companies with criminal prosecution and prison sentences unless the practice is halted.
Data sourced from: mad.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff