Public Advocate Bill de Blasio Questions Legality of Spider-Man Advertising

News   Public Advocate Bill de Blasio Questions Legality of Spider-Man Advertising
Bill de Blasio, public advocate for the City of New York, has raised legal questions about the advertising of the new Julie Taymor musical Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, which has been in previews since Nov. 28 at the Foxwoods Theatre.

Newsday reports that the public advocate has sent a letter to commissioner Jonathan Mintz of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs saying that the new musical, which is currently scheduled to officially open Feb. 7, "may be in violation of consumer protection laws."

"Theatergoers deserve to know what they are buying," de Blasio said in a statement to Newsday. "The industry must be forthright with its consumers. Make no mistake, there is a difference between a finished product and a preview performance that could be stopped at any time to iron out new material."

De Blasio references 1991 preview-labeling rules that were established by then-Consumer Affairs commissioner Mark Green. Those rules called for fines up to $500 per advertisement as well as restitution to consumers.

"I believe the Department of Consumer Affairs is both within its rights — and obligated — to undertake similar measures today,” de Blasio said in his letter, adding, "[the commission should] consider revising the rules to require producers to disclose a show’s preview status to potential consumers."

De Blasio believes these rules should apply to all Broadway productions, not just Spider-Man.

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