So much for freedom of speech.
“After he spent $2,600 on a billboard that reads “Trump Country,” Dave Streit said Outfront Media prematurely removed the highly visible message in downtown Nashua because of complaints.
“We are political refugees. We watched what liberals did to Connecticut, so we moved here to New Hampshire where you live free or die, and no sooner than we get here we are getting canceled,” Streit said. “It is disgusting.”
Streit hired Outfront Media to help design his large Trump Country sign and paid $2,600 to have it placed on top of 169 Main St. in downtown Nashua from Oct. 6 to Nov. 3.
But the company notified him Monday that the message would be removed in the next couple of business days because of complaints. By Tuesday morning, the sign had been taken down.
“Free speech just got thrown out the window,” said Streit, who is urging the company to reconsider.
MaryAnne Carpenter, an account executive with Outfront Media, said in an email to Streit: “Unfortunately, we had complaints from our property owners regarding political ads. This is both Republican and Democrat. We’ve been asked to remove certain copy on certain boards throughout the state — one of which is your location on Main Street in Nashua.”
The email, which Streit received Monday, said he would be reimbursed for the amount of time left on the contract. Carpenter apologized for the situation.
“They will not leave that sign up,” Streit said on Tuesday, an hour before learning it had already been removed. “I don’t hold it against any of them, but what perturbs me is that one or two complaints can make it come down — from just the mere mention of the president.”
He said the most important time for political advertising is the five days before the Nov. 3 election.
“Even if someone on the left wanted to put a sign up, I would defend their right to have the sign up — that is freedom of expression. Hang together or hang alone,” Streit said.
Streit believes that if his large billboard had supported former Vice President Joe Biden, it would not have been a problem.
According to Streit, Outfront Media helped design the billboard sign and approved it, and the contract contained no clause that political ads were not permitted.
He acknowledged that the contract gives the company the right to take down any advertisements that generate complaints.
Streit said he was not told how many complaints the company received about the Trump Country sign or when they were made.
“I think that Trump was the most unlikely conservative imaginable, and he has delivered on every single promise, and we will never have a president like him again,” Streit said.
Gerry Allen, general manager at Outfront Media, did not return a phone call and email seeking comment. Additional inquiries to the company received no response.
The prominent three-story building on Main Street on which the billboard stands is owned by Joan Scontsas Revocable Trust. Scontsas Fine Jewelry and Home Decor operates inside the first floor of the building.
Philip Scontsas, one of the owners, did not return a phone call on Tuesday.”
Excerpted from the New Hampshire Union Leader.