JD Sports have been ordered to pay more than £8,300, after admitting to five counts of fly-posting in Manchester city centre.
The prosecution was brought by Manchester City Council, after city centre compliance officers discovered more than 30 posters advertising ‘Size?’ plastered onto street furniture and private buildings, on streets including Market Street, Princess Street and Mosley Street.
The case was passed to the council’s Environmental Crimes team, who established that ‘Size?’ was a trading name of JD Sports Fashion plc and wrote to the company, to invite them to an interview under caution.
In a written response, the company admitted responsibility for the posters and said that staff had been ‘re-educated’, to make them aware of what was and was not acceptable in terms of advertising their brand to the public.
However, the company chose not to attend a formal interview and were subsequently told that legal action would be taken.
At a hearing at Manchester Magistrates Court on 19 July 2019, JD Sports Fashion plc entered guilty pleas for all five fly-posting offences, while stating that the employee who had been responsible for the fly-posting campaign no longer worked for the company. They were fined £7,500 and ordered to pay court costs of £716, plus a victim surcharge of £150, with the penalty totalling £8,366.
Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, said: “Fly-posting is an anti-social crime and it is extremely disappointing that this established company chose to ignore the law in this way. The ‘Size?’ of the penalty indicates that this offence deserved to be strongly punished.
“I’d like to thank our Environmental Crimes team for their diligence in making sure that JD Sports were suitably punished. It isn’t acceptable to treat the city centre in this way and we will not to hesitate to bring prosecutions to protect our streets from illegal and inappropriate postering of this kind.”