The Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation (PRC) and Pacific Park have some explaining to do about a circular advertising sign that appeared on the Pacific Park Ferris Wheel on Sunday, March 21, during the Los Angeles Marathon.
The ad, for the Asics athletic shoe company, covered the wheel completely, but was taken off the Ferris Wheel after the Marathon.
PRC executive director Ben Franz-Knight says that the ad “was a promotion conducted by Pacific Park-something they did just for the Marathon,” and that it was “just an expression of their enthusiasm for the event.”
Franz-Knight added that Pacific Park had sought sponsorship for the ferris wheel in order to offset financial losses that might be the result of the Marathon. The park also offered free rides on the wheel on the day of the Marathon.
But he admitted that the signage had gone up “without knowledge by myself or the City staff. It raises issues that we will be discussing and I will be taking responsibility for it.”
City Council member Kevin McKeown mentioned the Ferris Wheel ad at the March 23 Council meeting, wondering: ‘Where did the money from that ad on the Ferris Wheel go to?”
Councilmembers said that an ad on the pier like that is not what was envisioned as a purpose for the ferris wheel.
McKeown said that he is working with the City Attorney’s office on the matter.
The Mirror contacted the City Land Use Attorney’s office for more information about the legalities of the ferris wheel signage. At press time, the Mirror had not received a response but will update this story as details become available.
Mirror Contributing Writerlynne@smmirror.com