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Spinning Signs Turn Heads in Triangle

Posted January 12, 2007

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— Signs are spinning at area intersections and even in crosswalks. For about $40 an hour, a company can hire spinners — dancers with signs — from Aarrow Advertising to advertise the company's business.

Some of Aarrow's past clients in Raleigh include Pulte Homes, The Healthy Back Store, and Ben and Jerry's. Aarrow will spin next week for an American Red Cross Blood Drive.

Spinners practice two days a week and go through extensive training before they hit the streets. Aarrow currently operates in San Diego, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Sacramento, Phoenix, New York and Las Vegas.

Many local drivers seem to enjoy the new form of advertising. On Friday, motorists in Raleigh honked their horns and showed signs of support for the spinners. But others said their flashy moves could be dangerous.

“I would say it’s probably a little distracting to the driver and everyone at the intersection,” said driver Bud Jennings.

Cary officials have told Aarrow officials to halt the spinners’ dances throughout town. Raleigh officials may follow suit.

“It's cute, but it’s still a violation of city ordinance,” said Raleigh Inspection Director Larry Strickland.

Strickland said sign spinners would be fine without a sign. But when they hold one, they are breaking the temporary sign ordinance. Also, no signs are allowed in a public right-of-way.

arrow officials argue that what they are doing is a sport -- a cross between skateboarding and martial arts.

“It's covered under freedom of speech,” said sign spinner Justin Brown. “We are individual performers with an individual act.”

“I can understand it’s freedom of expression, but I would question why they have a sign in their hand," Strickland said. "Why not a blank piece of wood, a stick? It’s obviously used for advertisement."

Spinners said that sometimes they do spin blank boards. Some of them told WRAL that they will keep twirling and throwing.

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