SBD/August 29, 2012/Colleges

Billboard Featuring USC QB Barkley Removed From Location Near UCLA Campus

USC, UCLA officials both deny involvement in removing billboard
A billboard near UCLA's campus that featured USC QB Matt Barkley “was removed Tuesday by the company that owns the space,” according to Klein & Holmes of the L.A. TIMES. The billboard featured Barkley “looking skyward alongside the words, ‘WE PLAY TO FINISH’ with the LA in ‘PLAY’ highlighted.” USC SID Tim Tessalone on Monday said the billboard was "not a board to taunt" UCLA. He added that it was “one of 30 in Southern California that are part of USC's ‘WE PLAY’ branding and marketing campaign.” Tessalone yesterday said covering the billboard "was not a USC decision." Tessalone: “We did not agree with nor were we involved in the decision to take the billboard down.” Meanwhile, UCLA Exec Dir of Athletic Communications Nick Ammazzalorso said, "We didn't have anything to do with it.” Klein & Holmes note the billboard site is “owned by Regency Outdoor Advertising, a company co-owned by Brian Kennedy, a prominent USC donor.” Kennedy yesterday said that the company “decided to move the Barkley board to another location” (L.A. TIMES, 8/29). A Regency Outdoor Advertising spokesperson “refused to confirm or deny that the billboard was taken down earlier than planned.” But ESPN L.A.’s Pedro Moura notes the shelf-life of such “prominent advertisements are very rarely just a week, and none of the other 29 similar billboards in the area that USC purchased have been taken down or blacked out.” Meanwhile, a similar ad is “set to go up on Saturday” in N.Y.’s Times Square (ESPNLA.com, 8/28).
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