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Artist Sues Amtrak Over Placement of Anti-Coors Ads

December 31, 1993

NEW YORK (AP) _ An artist sued Amtrak on Wednesday after the railroad told him Pennsylvania Station is the wrong place for a huge ad criticizing the Coors Brewing Co.’s alleged support of right-wing causes, a lawyer said.

Michael Lebron, an artist who works in advertising, said in court papers that Amtrak and Transportation Displays Inc. had rented him Penn Station’s 103-foot-by-10-foot illuminated ad space called the ″spectacular.″

The curved billboard is seen by tens of thousands of people a day as they enter the Manhattan train station.

Lebron said he planned a montage titled, ″Is It The Right’s Beer Now?″ That title was meant to parody the Coors’ advertising slogan, ″It’s the right beer now.″

The ad criticized what Lebron said was the Coors family’s support of right- wings groups such as the Nicaraguan contras, Morality in Media and the Heritage Foundation.

Libby Farrar, a spokeswoman for Coors in Golden, Colo., said the company would have no comment on the lawsuit. She added the company makes no attempt to influence political opinions or decisions of employees.

David Cole, a lawyer representing Lebron, said his client contracted for the ad two months ago and was told Tuesday by Amtrak officials they would not allow the display because of a policy against political advertising.

But Bill Delaney, the Amtrak official responsible for placing advertising, told Cole the agency had no policy against political ads, the lawyer said.

Cole said Lebron spent $100,000 of his own money on the project.

Lebron’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, asks for a restraining order against Amtrak and Transportation Displays Inc. renting the space to anyone else and an order allowing Lebron to use the space.

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