Handy Pizza Coupon or Public Nuisance?

Posted on September 22, 2005
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Concerned by complaints from homeowners, Gilbert councilman Don Skousen is exploring a ban on door-hanger advertisements.  Such a ban would stop all sorts of everyday advertisements, from pizza coupons to invitations to church. 

Love them or hate them, these advertisements are protected forms of speech.  The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned similar municipal ordinances for violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

There is an easy remedy to this problem. Gilbert residents can put up "no trespassing" or "no soliciting" signs, which make it illegal for would-be advertisers to enter private property uninvited and hang their ads. 

Of course, residents also wield the power of the purse. We can stop patronizing companies or organizations that pass out door-hanger advertisements.

Those are sensible approaches that balance the rights to both private property and free speech.  No new government ordinance required.

Key Links:

-Arizona Republic:  "Councilman explores idea of banning hanger ads"
-Arizona Republic:  "Poll finds firms want hanger ads"
-U.S. Supreme Court: Martin v. Struthers

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