OCEAN CITY — Against the backdrop of the Republican National Convention and its presumptive presidential nominee, the typically innocent skies over the resort this week briefly became the subject of controversy with politically-charged banner plane messages that were quickly pulled.
On Monday afternoon, the Mayor and Council and other city officials were blitzed with hundreds of emails from visitors and residences complaining of strong political messages gracing the banner plane advertisements traditionally reserved for all-you-can-eat buffets, what band is playing where, the best happy hour specials, iced coffee specials and even iconic Coppertone suntan lotion.
Mayor Rick Meehan said during Monday’s council meeting resort officials had received hundreds of emails about the somewhat controversial ads, which included messages such as “Stop Mad Cow Disease-Defeat Hillary,” and “America First-Build The Wall Now,”
Meehan said he reached out to Ocean Aerial Ads and owner-operator Bob Bunting about the controversial ads and the company, which has been flying over the resort skies, for decades, made the decision to pull them.
“I think we all got blitzed today with emails about banners flown over the beach with messages very political in nature,” said Meehan on Monday night. “Just an hour ago, I spoke with Bob Bunting and he didn’t realize it would be so controversial, so he has made the decision not to fly the political banners anymore.”
Ocean City Communications Manager Jessica Waters said on Tuesday the flap caused by the controversial political messages resulted in a quick decision to stop flying them over the crowded mid-July beach.