Des Moines company rejects Trump, Reynolds billboard

Published: Mar. 19, 2018 at 11:04 PM CDT
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Ivanka Trump visited Iowa Monday, but not everyone was excited about her arrival.

The political advocacy group Progress Iowa wanted to make that clear -- using a billboard. But the sign they made never went up.

There are a handful of billboards across from the Des Moines International Airport on Fleur Drive. Progress Iowa says they wanted to put a sign there, talking about Ivanka Trump and the Trump administration's political positions, so that she would see it when she came to town. But Progress Iowa says a local advertising company did not give them that chance.

"I was frankly shocked that they made this extremely disappointing decision," said Matt Sinovic, Executive Director of Progress Iowa.

Sinovic says Progress Iowa wanted to put up a sign Monday for Ivanka Trump's visit to Iowa, which includes what they believe are positions held by both the Trump administration and Governor Kim Reynolds.

"Our goal with this billboard was to educate Iowans," Sinovic said.

Sinovic says Lamar Advertising, a local company he contacted to put up the billboard, had initially accepted the plan on Friday -- and then rejected it over the weekend.

"For some reason, they decided that this billboard on this day was too controversial to run, that's really unfortunate and this type of barring of public education of Iowans of the issues is just completely unacceptable," Sinovic said. "I think Iowans have the right to know what the positions of their elected officials and that was the point of this billboard."

An account executive at Lamar Advertising sent Sinovic an email over the weekend saying, in part, "Since our business is affected by legislation at the state and local level with sign ordinances and other regulation we walk a fine line when it comes to accepting potentially controversial advertising."

"We've never had an ad company or anyone tell us that we cannot run one of these adds," Sinovic said. "We've worked with Lamar Advertising on issue-specific billboards in the past that have been very similar."

Other groups have done the same, including a sign posted last December when New York Mayor Bill de Balsio came to Des Moines.

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