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Total Ban on Ads for "Adult Entertainment" Too Broad
Description Georgia high court struck down a state statute that banned any outdoor advertising of establishments where nudity is exhibited. While the state has an interest in limiting displays that might divert drivers' attention, a ban on all informative advertising violates the First Amendment.
Topic Constitutional Law
Key Words First Amendment; Advertising
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts The Georgia Outdoor Advertising Control Act prohibited "any off-premises outdoor advertising of commercial establishments where nudity is exhibited." Café Erotica contested the statute, as it could be subject to criminal prosecution for posting off-site outdoor advertising. The trial court issued an injunction against enforcement of the statute because it infringes on plaintiffs' First Amendment rights. The state appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The statute does not pass the test of the Central Hudson Gas case. The business in question is a legal business. The advertising it wishes to post is not misleading. The absolute prohibition "of any form of off-site advertising impedes the free flow of information and far exceeds the State's legitimate interest." The state may limit the posting of "provocative images" that might "divert the attention of drivers" on state highways, but the complete ban on advertising is not narrowly tailored to achieve that purpose.
Citation State v. Café Erotica, Inc., - S.E.2d - (1998 WL 805174, Sup. Ct., Ga.)
507 S.E. 2d 732 (Sup. Ct., Ga., 1998)

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