Houston City Council votes to ban 'attention-getting' ads


The Houston City Council voted Wednesday to ban the use of "attention-getting devices" — such as the giant, inflatable animals that sit atop businesses across Houston — for commercial purposes, reported The Houston Chronicle.

The ban will not go into effect until January 2010. But scenic advocates cheered the decision, saying the prohibition is a necessary step to clean up Houston’s blighted highways and cluttered streetscapes.

"It’s not just the inflatables, it’s all the ticky-tacky," Anne Culver, executive director of Scenic Houston told the paper. "Our problem with the unbridled proliferation of inflatables, pennants, banners and streams is that they were used day in, day out, year in, year out."

The council’s decision follows the lead of Dallas, Austin and St. Louis in prohibiting the flashy and motion-driven devices, which also include floppy wind puppets, pinwheels, strobes, spinning discs and spotlights.