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Are LED Boat Advertisements On The Hudson River Going A Step Too Far?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new ad is catching people's attention on the Hudson River, but not everyone is on board.

Standing 20 feet tall by 60 feet wide, these two floating LED screens are brand new additions to New York's waterway.

"It can be fully submersed in water and be fine," Bally Media CEO Adam Shapiro said.

Ballyhoo gave CBS2's Ali Bauman got an exclusive tour of the catamaran.

"It's more than just advertising… we do live showings, movies," Shapiro added.

The company came to New York from Miami in October to cruise along Manhattan's coast 10 hours a day, seven days a week.

LED advertising boat on the Hudson river. (Credit: CBS2)

"New York City is the media capital in the world and it's the outdoor capital with Times Square and everything else here," Shapiro explained.

Despite New York's reputation for glitzy ads, some worry it's a little too much like Times Square.

"We've got enough visual pollution in town, we don't need advertisements in the river," John Delpeschio said.

"I'm not a fan of it actually being there, but if they're gonna do it they should limit the quantity," Vicky Reid added.

"Hey It's New York. If there's a place to put an advertisement, someone's gonna figure out how to make a buck off it," Jesse Gelber countered.

Brian Braiker is an editor at Ad Age Magazine.

"Certainly people will notice it, but ultimately can be annoying and potentially illegal," Braiker cautioned.

Ballyhoo Media insists it is fully operating within the law, but the law is kind of murky in that area.

Waterway ads are not allowed along residential zones, but in Manhattan, you can have a residential and a commercial zone on the same block. So the city says as of now it's only inspecting in response to complaints.

"It really stands out, it's by itself, there's nothing else impacting or fighting for competition in the waterways," Shapiro argued.

"I don't think anyone wants the waterways to turn into Times Square… It definitely stands out, does it stand out in a good way? Time will tell."

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