Apple iPod Billboard at Center of Boston Political Scuffle

Credit: Yoon S. Bryun, The Boston Globe

Credit: Yoon S. Bryun, The Boston Globe

A huge iPod touch billboard is at the center of a Boston controversy, with claims a mayor’s aide helped a political contributor install the ad over the wishes of city regulators. Despite being called “illegal” in 2007 by the Massachusetts Outdoor Advertising Board, a 13,750 banner ad touting the iPod remains in place.

The latest chapter includes a report suggesting Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino endorsed the billboard despite what the Boston Globe calls a “usual discouragement of new billboards.” A campaign aide has admitted helping a top political donor gain approval for the advertisement.

In June, the companies responsible for the billboard paid the state $110,000 to settle the issue. The ad is located on the side of a self-storage building that along with packing tape and locks, sells iTunes gift cards. In 2008 Apple opened its Boston flagship store.

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About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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