Since 2007 Clear Channel Outdoor has been displaying photos of the FBI’s “Most Wanted” criminals on digital billboards, with other billboard companies also joining the effort. Now it’s been taken to a colossal level.
As of Friday (1/15) one of Clear Channel Outdoor’s 30- by 40-foot displays in Times Square has joined the crime fighting effort. The debut of the effort at the heart of New York’s famous tourist area was highlighted in a segment on NBC’s “Today” show, so the images were also seen by millions of TV viewers.
“When the FBI asked us to expand our billboard program to Times Square, we agreed immediately. This important initiative will now reach the thousands of people who pass through Times Square each day,” said CC Outdoor executive Harry Coghlan.
“Our partnership with Clear Channel has proven to be tremendously successful. I am confident that the Times Square billboard will enhance the success of this project exponentially. With millions of people passing through Times Square every year, there is no better way to draw attention to our most wanted fugitives,” said Joseph Demarest, head of our New York office of the FBI.
The first three fugitives posted on the Times Square billboard are Emerson Guzman, wanted for narcotics distribution; Yvette Torres, wanted for international parental kidnapping; and Tawan Hines, wanted for narcotics conspiracy.
The FBI-Clear Channel partnership began in 2007 with 100 billboards in 23 cities. Since then, three other outdoor companies have joined the partnership — Adams Outdoor, Lamar Advertising, and the Outdoor Advertising Association of Georgia. As a result, the FBI now has access to more than 1,500 billboards in more than 40 states nationwide.