A major source of unwanted street spam may have just been unmasked.
It took me a bit of detective work because their signs very rarely have any form of source identification for obvious reasons. One batch of Gun Show signs illegally posted in July had a charter.net e-mail address, which I used to generate the e-mail string you'll see later in this report. You'll also see that I was able to associate SignPostersUSA with the charter.net e-mail address. This outfit's website is: http://signpostersusa.com/
On Causs I have long railed against the illegal "Gun Show," "Bridal Show," etc. signs placed illegally in California on most weekends (and maybe in your state, too). SignPostersUSA seems to be the culprit, or at least a major player. For examples of their blight just drill a bit further into the website, in particular this link:
You'll have no doubt that these are street spammers after you log onto the website.
(Disclaimer: In case anyone is new to the Forum who reads the attached e-mail back-and-forth with SignPostersUSA, I was obviously just posing as someone interested in having street spam put up on my behalf--I am clearly not a real customer of this garbage.)
By reading the e-mail string that follows you'll note that SignPostersUSA actually admits they put up signs illegally:
Quote 1: "And yes some of the city's do have laws against them but we have been doing it in the Southern and Northern California area now for 9 Years. We know where we can do it and where not. Some times we do get citations."
Quote 2: "And as far as the laws go there are some cities that will send me a $20.00 fine but I am responsible for any and all fines."
By the way, I've read on Causs that fines are not $20 but usually $250 per illegal sign. In either case, SignPostersUSA seems to feel they are above the law.
I was really gratified by their quote of $6.50 per sign (kind of pricey!) because it means that we collectively can easily cost this sign placer's clients a grand or more by grabbing up 150 signs or more each time they promote an event by illegal means.
SignPosterUSA has a toll free number: -888-843-8389.
Maybe we should all call it often, including every time we see their blight. We could regularly remind them of the code enforcement laws in the cities in which they visit their vertical trash.
Following is the e-mail correspondence with these blighters:
MY FIRST E-MAIL TO SignPostersUSA
From: Stephanie Wong Date: 2004/08/20 Fri PM 11:27:34 GMT To: email@example.com Subject: Sign Promo Quote
Hello. I am promoting some trade shows to the public in Southern Cal. and would like to understand your sign promotion program. Do you have a website, and also where are you located? I need to build a budget, so guidance on cost would be appreciated.
Please write back to this e-mail. Basically, I need to know how to go about doing this in time for the series of shows. Thank you.
FIRST MESSAGE FROM SignPostersUSA
firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: Hi, thank you for inquiring about the Sign program that we offer. Yes we do have a web site it is ( signpostersusa.com ) Please go to it and look if you have any questions please call the toll free # shown on the web site.
Thank you Dan
MY SECOND E-MAIL TO SignPostersUSA
From: Stephanie Wong Date: 2004/08/28 Sat PM 05:48:43 GMT To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Sign Promo Quote
Hi, Dan. Thanks for the information. The signs look like what we've seen, and want to do for our show. Two questions: 1) Is the cost about $6.50 for the type that are like the Gun Show signs that had your e-mail on them? And 2) Where can we legally put the signs? We really don't just want them at the show hall, we want them all around town. One person on staff said it wasn't legal due to city code enforcement, but I see your signs around town and just want to know how far we can go.
If you can get back to me on these two questions, I can then get the OK here. Thanks again
SECOND MESSAGE FROM SignPostersUSA
firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: Hi, Stephanie, yes the sign's will be put up in all the city's that you would like. And yes some of the city's do have laws against them but we have been doing it in the Southern and Northern California area now for 9 Years. We know where we can do it and where not. Some times we do get citations and as you may have read on our Web Site we take full responsibility for any and all Sign's posted in an illeagal or non professional manner. Please call me on my Cell phone when you recieve this E-mail so that we can talk further.
Thank You, Dan Wilkins (801) 671-7123
MY THIRD E-MAIL TO SignPostersUSA
From: Stephanie Wong Date: 2004/09/11 Sat AM 09:51:50 GMT To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Re: Sign Promo Quote
Hi, Dan. I don't know if you got my e-mail last week, but I have to answer a couple of questions for my team before we can place our order for signs to promote our shows.
1) Am I right that the signs are about $6.50 (with tax, shipping and placement)? I have to build a budget so the total out-the-door cost is important to know.
2) One of our guys says the signs are illegal and ripped down pretty often. We don't care about the illegal part because we need to promote the show. But we don't want to pay fines for each sign or have them taken down. What is the real situation and how do you help us in cities where the signs aren't allowed but we need to promote the show via signs anyway?
If you can reply on Monday it would be great since I am meeting with the team on Tuesday. Thanks again.
LAST MESSAGE FROM SignPostersUSA
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Add to Address Book To: "Stephanie Wong" Subject: Re: Re: Sign Promo Quote Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 15:59:16 +0000
Hi, Stephanie, Yes the price is correct. And as far as the laws go there are some cities that will send me a $20.00 fine but I am responsible for any and all fines. And on my contract it will state that we our liable for any and all Sign's Posted in an ilegal or non professional manner.Also we would put the sign's only where we know they normally stay again we have been doing these Sign's in the California area for 11 Years.
Please call me and or E-mail me your # so we can talk direct. Thank You, Dan Wilkins 801-671-7123
Note how Dan went from claiming 9 years of street spamming to 11 years in the course of one e-mail. Classic.
I did write back again last week to the effect of "the signs seem to make people mad and get pulled down a lot--how do I sell the signs to my management in the face of that?" Dan never wrote back--by now he was probably wondering if a Code Enforcement Office was on his tail.
In that light, I would appreciate the involvement of any Code Enforcement Officers who can help us "educate" SignPostersUSA about the law. Taking down their illegally placed signs provides a certain joy--but stopping them cold would be the best way to keep our cities clean of their sign infestation.
(Also posted in the General Forum)
"It's 10 p.m. Do you know what Dumpster your street spam is sleeping in?"