yelp.com, the website where consumers can comment on businesses, can be a valuable tool for us.
In my area, two furniture stores (both owned by the same family) have for years been using those large coroplast signs that are of the same type we saw when K-MART was closing stores and that other furniture stores uses as the chronically go out of business, only to reopen again. This particular set of two furniture stores sticks their signs over a wide area, in parkways, freeway ramps, etc.--not just in front of their premises.
I've removed countless signs from this particular offender. Then I posted a one-star rating (the lowest you can give) on Yelp and explained that I object to their street spamming. At first, there was a retaliatory post--clearly by the store owners--filled with profanities. That was soon removed by Yelp. Then this store posted an obviously fake "kudos" customer message giving themselves five stars. Unfortunately for them, there were posts going back a few years from real customers who complained about the poor service. That doesn't surprise me at all: A store willing to break code enforcement laws and blight the city is probably a shoddy business through and through.
In the end, these furniture store owners lost. Not only do they have negative posts from customers on Yelp, but my post flags to potential customers that they are dealing with a company who knowingly breaks city laws and ordinances. Basically I am telling potential customers, "If they treat our city this way, how will they mistreat you?"
Just a suggestion that Yelp may be a tool in our arsenal. My post on Yelp was reasoned and factual. That way the business owner can't get it removed--and they will try.
"It's 10 p.m. Do you know what Dumpster your street spam is sleeping in?"