Shortly after an HBO billboard was photographed covering up a mural painted in honor of Kobe Bryant, the channel’s parent company reportedly moved to take the advertisement down.
The Bryant mural, reportedly located in the Fairfax district of central Los Angeles, was noted in March by The Ringer’s Patrick Muldowney. Three months later, Muldowney posted another picture of the same wall, this time covered with an ad from HBO thanking its employees.
The borders of the Bryant mural could still be seen on the edges.
— patrick (@muldowney) June 16, 2020
When contacted about the mural by TheWrap's Tim Baysinger, HBO parent company WarnerMedia reportedly said the company contacted the vendor responsible for the billboard and requested it to be taken down. TheWrap reports that the billboard came as part of a larger ad buy with the vendor, and that WarnerMedia was not aware the mural would covered.
The mural has reportedly not been damaged.
The billboard vendor, Great Outdoor also responded to TheWrap, noting that it was the entity that it had commissioned the mural with the idea that it could stay up between ad campaigns:
“We actually commissioned the artist to paint this mural up there because we had a couple open months on it. This idea was all approved by the artist and we preserved the mural so in between ad campaigns the mural will be back. The artist told us that he will reach out to anyone that says anything to let them know that he approved this idea and he was trying to find a creative way to support Kobe’s foundation. This mural is owned by us and we are protecting it.”
It all sounds like a clumsy miscommunication, though you really have to wonder if planning to regularly cover up a mural of a figure beloved by a city with ads is a wise strategy.
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