ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Campaign signs are everywhere right now. and a popular restaurant tried to play off that with its own signs. That could end up costing the owners more than the price of the signs..
The red white and blue signs are sending a message but it's not a political one, it's 'eat a Tucanos!'
Now KRQE News 13 has learned the signs have to go.
"The company was brainstorming about things we could do to make the whole process a little bit more fun," said Tucanos General Manager Warren Gaustad.
So they came up with the idea to mix advertisements in with the political postings. The signs tout slogans like "Health Reform, Eat Tucanos" and "Vote Yes, Eat Tucanos".
"The funniest one is 'Conservative Prices, Liberal Dining,'" said Gaustad. "It just appeals to everybody."
Tucanos, the Brazilian restaurant downtown, says the goal was to see if anyone really pays attention to the political postings, and it turns out they do. Not only has the company received praise, they're also getting complaints.
The latest is from the city of Albuquerque.
"It does appear there are some signs placed in the right-of-way and not on private property, which is a violation of code," said city Code Compliance Manager Brennon Williams.
He says it's not way the signs say that's in violation, it's where they are.
News 13 found about two dozen signs posted at the intersection of Coal Avenue SE and Oak Street just off the Interstate 25 and signs near Montgomery Boulevard NE and Pan American Freeway.
All of the signs were on public property very close to sidewalks, and some were clearly on the median. All are in violation.
Like a lot of politicians who make the same mistake, Tucanos claims they didn't know the rules.
"It wasn't like we wanted to put them out next to a billboard where someone's advertising," said Gaustad. "We just wanted to group them with other political ads just to have a little fun
Just across the street on Montgomery there are multiple political signs, but the city says those aren't supposed to be there either. They also have to be farther away from the sidewalk and on private property with permission only.
Tucanos said the signs will be gone by Tuesday morning. He also said the restaurant has some extras to hand out to customers who can post them in their own yards.
This is part of a national ad campaign by the restaurant chain, but so far only the Albuquerque location has run into problems.
If the restaurant doesn't remove them soon, they could be looking at fines.
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