Tacoma Action Figure: Erik Emery Hanberg

The Metro Parks Commissioner who said "Thanks, but No Thanks" to Clear Channel Outdoor's Illegal Billboards, Unlike CLICK!
posted Jul 3, 2012
tacoma, tacomic, action figure series, Erik Hanberg, metro parks, clear channel outdoor
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Metro Parks had a problemClear Channel Outdoor kept putting Metro Park's zoo billboard ads on the illegal, nonconforming billboard structures that Clear Channel Outdoor uses to terrorize/extort us all in the most criminal ironic way. We the self-respecting, free people needed a champion within Metro Parks to do the right thing--we got Erik Hanberg. WHILST Our local data network utility "CLICK!" was stuffing it's goddamn face with all the discounted/illegal sky spam like there was no tomorrow, Mr. Hanberg quietly organized his comrades within Metro Parks to kick their bad non-conforming billboard habit.  The Tacoma Weekly seems to approve.

Imagine if we got "CLICK!" on the same page!  After all, the mother f-ing blood-sucking liars over at Clear Channel are surviving this recession on our own god damn tax dollars!  Who else has a budget to buy billboard ads these days besides brain-dead bureaucracies and national brand nincompoops? nobody. 


Erik Hanberg's Facebook + Twitter + Books

Unknown Company's "Break Out of the Norm" Aggressive Urban Blight Campaign
we owed you one Mr. Hanberg!

(nice work kevin!)

by Erik on 7/3/2012 @ 2:12am
Reference: The Metro Parks Poop billboard: 

by fredo on 7/3/2012 @ 5:31am
Hanberg isn't going after all the billboards per se, only the non conformings.

I would urge him to take it a step further and propose discontinuance of ALL billboard advertising. I would suggest that all billboard advertising  is inconsistant with the parks general mission

Creating healthy opportunities to play, learn and grow.

Placing tacky and offensive billboards around our city does not help the Metro Parks to create healthy opportunitites to play learn or grow.

by fredo on 7/3/2012 @ 5:47am
RR I liked your new action figure. It's bully.

The photograph of South Sprague Ave. really embodies a lot of what is wrong with some parts of Tacoma. It has the ugly billboards to be sure but also broken store signage, ugly tarp style awnings, primary electric wires, hand painted address, chain link towing yard gate, Basically it's a picture of a place most people would say is urban blight. 

by scubiedoo on 7/3/2012 @ 7:12am
*golf clap*  :)

by cisserosmiley on 7/3/2012 @ 7:16am
The real question is: WE are losing one city council member in December, Erik Hanberg will be appointed to replace said council person...who will be the other 39 dupes that throw their name in the hat for no reason?

by NineInchNachos on 7/3/2012 @ 7:48am
Amen Fredo,
Businesses should invest in professional hand painted signage;   Hire a cartoonist today!

by scubiedoo on 7/3/2012 @ 7:56am
I'll take the clear channel budgets for advertising.  #BEChat

by Erik Hanberg on 7/3/2012 @ 8:03am
Thanks for the Action Figure Status RR. It's the highest recognition I know of in Tacoma. :)
fredo, I think a blanket ban is too far. If other municipalities have similar laws and are attempting to get billboards down, I wouldn't want to advertise there either. So far as I know, though, Tacoma is the only local jurisdiction who's taken such a stand.

Cisserosmiley, I wish I knew how to convince you that I'm not trying to get appointed to the City Council. I didn't apply with the 40+ people when the Council vacancies opened two years ago, and instead applied for Metro Parks. Very happy on the Park Board. I have no intention of bailing on the position just a year into my first full term.

by fredo on 7/3/2012 @ 8:13am
Erik, why don't you explain to all of us in precise terms how the use of billboards to advertise the park service with tax payer money is beneficial to the citizens or how it serves the Metro Parks mission statement. 

Your statement is basically this, "we have to advertise on billboards because other municipalities also do it."

That seems pretty weak.  

by cisserosmiley on 7/3/2012 @ 8:24am
@Erik & the rest of Tacoma:
I sincerely hope you will avail yourself for consideration of a city council appointment. While the parks council is important and your work has just begun, it is a matter of responsibility to accept our community need. You are uniquely qualified to advance from metro to the city. We are confident in your efforts. Please keep an open mind and a humble spirit.

by Erik Hanberg on 7/3/2012 @ 8:46am
cisserosmiley, thank you for the confidence.
fredo, not my statement. I made the motion I did because even if Tacoma's billboards laws aren't being enforced by the City for budget reasons, I think MPT can support the law by restricting advertising to only conforming billboards (of which there are less than 10 I believe). 

by NineInchNachos on 7/3/2012 @ 9:12am
Maybe Metro Parks could spend its ad budget on more Pierce Transit bus wraps.    Supporting mass transit is good environmental policy  and I know Pierce Transit could use the money.  Something to think about. 

@cissero  If you had the choice of hanging around beautiful parks, with happy families climbing up and down wild pieces of play equipment... out in the sun    or lurking about the City Hall downtown under the florescent light bulbs  I know which I'd choose. 

by Jesse on 7/3/2012 @ 9:20am
Although it is a wonderful first step, banning non-conforming billboards, it doesn't go far enough.  Why? 

1.  The number of donated non-profit (tax deduction for Clear Channel) billboards is a population of billboards where Clear Channel can decide where to put them.  That means they can put paying billboards where the payer requests and backfill the non-conforming locations with non-profit billboards (tax write off of whatever is dreamed up) therefore still making the same amount of money they always did.

2.  The citizens of Tacoma have come out in full force saying they do not want billboards and therefore do not expect their municipalities to purchase adds on them.

3.  Purchasing any ads on these billboards feeds the Clear Channel beast and therefore creates a larger market in Tacoma on Clear Channel spreadsheets.  That means they will be willing to throw just that many more lawyers at the City of Tacoma when Tacoma finally has the guts to fight this.

4. Clear Channel has no respect for the law or local municipalities and threatens them with attorneys and lawsuits.

I think these are plenty of reasons why all municipalities should make sure they don't advertise on ANY billboards until Clear Channel aligns it's operations with the law.

by fredo on 7/3/2012 @ 9:23am
You still haven't explained how using billboards is beneficial to Tacoma citizens or how it serves the Metro Parks published mission statement. 

Why not just amend your agenda item to the following: 

"Since billboards are not favored by Tacoma citizens and because they are generally considered visually polluting and since they are an unnecessary expense for the citizens of Tacoma and since they do not serve the mission of the Metro Parks be it resolved that at the conclusion of any current advertising campaign or contract we will no longer use any billboard services".  

by CaptainBritton on 7/3/2012 @ 9:27am
I wonder if Metroparks couldn't team with a few of us under-employed muralists to create dynamic spaces where the Zoo, the spray-grounds, the awesome Softball leagues, etc, could get the public awareness of a "billboard" without the ugliness and reaction of a billboard?

I think murals of Zoo animals around town in appropriate places would do more for the Zoo than a million billboard ads could anyway. Plus it would increase the local mural numbers! Always good!

Just a thought....

by CaptainBritton on 7/3/2012 @ 9:28am
PS, I do good work! ;)

And I know others who do too!!!!!

by fredo on 7/3/2012 @ 9:31am

I like brittons community oriented mural idea better than the Metro Parks conforming billboards idea.

by NineInchNachos on 7/3/2012 @ 9:34am
a billboard is old-time thinking. I second Britton, and like to see more creativity from our parks marketing department.   More murals sure.  But also more stunts!    Let the news be your advertising !

by CaptainBritton on 7/3/2012 @ 9:34am
Me too! Solidarity on feedtacoma! :)(Thanks Fredo!)

by NineInchNachos on 7/3/2012 @ 9:37am


by CaptainBritton on 7/3/2012 @ 9:48am
When billboards, (specifically Clear Channel's) hoardings as they are called, came into India, they immediately put an entire generation of Indian sign painters out of work. These artists who hand-painted these colorful, dynamic ad-art-murals were suddenly without prospects....A Seattle artist had them collaborate on this amazing art project...

Ironically, maybe magically, these final art pieces now reside at the UW Tacoma campus of all places...

by CaptainBritton on 7/3/2012 @ 9:49am
More images are here:

by Maria on 7/3/2012 @ 12:34pm
--RR Anderson: a billboard is old-time thinking. I second Britton, and like to see more
creativity from our parks marketing department.   More murals sure. 
But also more stunts!    Let the news be your advertising !

Stunts = performance art! Yes, more performance art!! Creative, delightful, whimsical ideas by citizens and organizations.

How about people in furry animal suits handing out 50% off Zoo passes at various downtown businesses?

Mysterious photocopied posters popping up around town, referencing a missing shark?

Bring some animals down to Tollefson Plaza, spray parks, City Hall, Costco, Boys & Girls Clubs this summer.

Billboards are not necessarily the best way to advertise. I was part of an organization that used them at one point, and after making them track responses, we learned we only got 2 visitors each year average due to billboard signs. Crazy fun (safe) promotional stunts are WAY more effective and cost-effective.

by NineInchNachos on 7/3/2012 @ 12:46pm
billboards are passive media.  we want to promote the active!  community activation!  take the animals out to the people!  they're our captive ambassadors ! Missing Tiger alerts  via social media! Elephant paintings...  get the animals making art.  YOUTUBE!  FACEBOOK! Schools! ... go where the people are.

by fredo on 7/3/2012 @ 12:57pm
yes RR,

Tell me if this idea sounds crazy.

We put ET on a little flatbed truck and put a monkey on his back with a little saddle and harness. It looks like the monkey is riding ET like a pony. Drive the truck around town and generate some interest in the zoo animals.

by NineInchNachos on 7/3/2012 @ 1:23pm
that's so crazy it might work. 

lets go farther. 

YOUTUBE all of ET's sexual encounters with his lady walrus friends... maybe even live shows at the Tacoma Dome. 

maybe even have animal wrestling?  

Polar Bear VS. WALRUS! 


by NineInchNachos on 7/3/2012 @ 1:25pm

by NineInchNachos on 7/3/2012 @ 1:27pm
using my new contact with Eric LeMay  we could probably get a vintage 1900's  flatbed... maybe even a fire truck.   with the right training and accessibility packages  could probably even get the animals to drive themselves.  

by Maria on 7/3/2012 @ 1:43pm
Load up the flatbed with sample paper bags of Zoo Doo, hand out at local farmer's markets, community gardens and neighborhood homesteads, along with a 50% off admission coupon.

Mobile petting zoo -- bring animals, education and info out to the spray parks and playgrounds this summer. Kind of like the mobile glass-blowing rig, but with cute little creatures. (cool days only, plus must have hand-washing station of course)

Get local decorators to team with local inventors/gadget makers to compete in a Zoolights competition for Most Amazing New Christmas Light Installation. Imagine robotic meerkats popping up from underground tunnels. A zipline with an orangutang. A "tank" full of pulsing LED sea anemones and jellyfish.

Billboards, smillboards!!

by NineInchNachos on 7/3/2012 @ 4:02pm
BREAKING:  this cartoon has sold to an anonymous buyer.  

by fredo on 7/6/2012 @ 7:05am
Still waiting for an explanation of why the use of billboards by Metro Parks is beneficial to the local taxpayers, how it serves the Metro Parks mission statement and how it does not contribute to visual pollution and ugliness in our city. 

Hanberg or any other Metro Parks representative may respond to this inquiry. 

by NineInchNachos on 7/6/2012 @ 9:18am
don't answer! it's a trick question!!!  there is no benefit!

by NineInchNachos on 8/13/2012 @ 6:37pm
one of the best investments ever...