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Massive LED billboard cluster causes sleepless nights in Thong Lor

Sleepless in Sukhumvit. A massive clump of LED billboards in Bangkok’s Thong Lor district has been such a nuisance to residents across the street, with many complaining they’re losing sleep, that an official complaint filed with local police and the district office could succeed in its removal.

Thong Lor is known for its nightlife, with numerous clubs, pubs, restaurants – and bright lights. But the 30 metre long, 8 metre wide LED billboard, flashing advertisements for companies including Tyson chicken nuggets and Johnnie Walker whisky, has been too bright for residents to handle.

In defiance, residents have resorted to hanging banners with handwritten, anti-billboard messages outside their windows to protest the sign and block out its obnoxious light. The block of four-story townhouses — home to a Japanese restaurant, a jewelry store and a massage parlor at street level — looks like a building under siege, with white cloth banners bearing complaints in black and red spray paint hung in defiance against the invasive billboard.

“The LED light board from a big company is installed illegally,” one banner reads. “It causes us to lose sleep!”

Other printed banners depict a family and a cute dog wearing surgical masks as blindfolds to protect their eyes from the blinding light across the street.

“Did this dog do anything wrong?”

What residents really want to know is whether their voice has been heard. In an apparent victory, it appears so. After inspection — and to no one’s surprise — it has been confirmed that it’s indeed illegal to install a big billboard without a license.

Aqua Ad Public, the company behind the LED board, has had to make changes like reducing the panel’s brightness by 80% and turning it off four hours earlier. They will also be fined every day until it’s been completely removed by February 7.

Massive LED billboard cluster causes sleepless nights in Thong Lor | News by Thaiger

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Tim Newton

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.