• Apple "Breaks the Law" in Boston

    A story that first came to light last week is getting more attention than it probably deserves this weekend. Nonetheless, all eyes are on Apple's potentially "illegal" activity in Boston, courtesy of an iPod marketing endeavor gone horribly wrong.

    I guess you could say the writing was on the wall... literally. And, as a result, Apple is taking heat for putting up an iPod touch billboard that reportedly violates local law due to its massive size and location. According to coverage from Apple Insider:

    Despite the fact that a 13,750-square-foot iPod touch banner on the side of a Boston self-storage building was declared illegal by the Massachusetts Outdoor Advertising Board, the massive advertisement has remained since the fall of 2007 with and without special permits.
    It turns out the billboard still stands. And it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon, even as a $110,000 settlement was paid to the state this summer relating to the matter. The Boston Globe was sourced by Apple Insider revealing that this is "the largest known payment for any such advertising dispute."

    On Sunday morning, several national television news programs addressed the subsequent "political controversy" that has since emerged involving Boston's mayor Thomas M. Menino, whose campaign aide apparently played a role in "helping a business acquaintance behind the advertising agreement" negotiate the permitting process. It seems the individual in question has been donating the maximum-allowed political campaign contribution to Mayor Menino every year for the last four years.

    The one-year temporary permit for the iPod ad expired last fall, but the partners behind it did not file for a new permit until June, when the $110,000 settlement with the state was reached.
    The billboard (which is particularly important to Apple since a flagship store was opened there last year), is likely now causing more headaches than it's worth. Although it is probable that the powers-that-be at Apple had no knowledge of the local laws and small-time politicking that would intervene in its Boston-area marketing endeavors, Apple now finds itself at the center of a bizarre controversy that is getting far more media coverage than Apple would likely prefer.

    Image via Apple Insider
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