Three digital billboards along Nashville’s I-24 near downtown reading simply, “We love our mayor” were quietly removed from rotation Friday, February 2 after the buyer refused to disclose their identity. The billboards appeared one day after embattled Mayor Megan Barry admitted to her years-long affair with SGT Rob Forrest, her bodyguard.
Outfront Media’s senior director of communications, Carly Zipp, told The Tennessean that the reason for their removal was due to a lack of “proper attribution,” which Tennessee Law – and company policy – require for political advertisements:
Zipp said the agency that facilitated the billboard purchase was San Francisco-based SF Media Communications Inc. But she said the media company did not disclose their client.
Zipp did not comment when asked how Outfront Media became aware of the problem or why the billboard was allowed to go up in the first place.
SF Media Consultants has a history working in the music industry, one of Nashville’s staple brands. According to its website, the firm has done advertising for Big Machine Records, Capitol Records, EMI, and Universal Music Group as well as big-name artists such as Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Lady Antebellum and Florida Georgia Line.
Lauren Anderson, senior vice president for SF Media Consultants, did not return a message seeking comment.
The paper reached out the Mayor’s spokesman, Sean Braisted, who said that they did not know who paid for the advertisements, and denied that ‘Friends for Megan Barry’ – the Mayor’s campaign committee – was behind it. The Tennessean also checked with the Treasurer of ‘Women for Tennessee’s Future,’ a pro-Barry PAC, who likewise denied paying for the billboards.