Intersection pandhandlers are bad enough. Now, we have to deal with roadside adults, dancing to an unheard beat, and waving signs for $5 pizza. One at Little Caesar's, you could ignore, or at least tolerate. Now that Marco's Pizza upped the ante, I refuse to give in any longer. Serenity now! This post explores the legality of this marketing foolishness.
Both establishments are located within the heart of the Reservoir Community District (Overlay), so we look to those ordinances for guidance. "Sign" is defined within those ordinances as "every device, frame, letter, figure, character, mark, point, design, picture, trademark or reading matter which is used or intended to be used to attract attention or convey information when the same is placed out of doors in view of the general public." There should be little question a gyrating person holding a bright orange sign, whose sole purpose is to attract the attention of unhealthconcious consumers, falls within this definition. As a result, the sign regulation portion of said ordinance controls.
Not surprisingly, I find no provision allowing people to hold signs along the roadside advertising for goods. However, included in the Prohibited Signs portion, in Section 2609.05(1) are: "Animated signs: Any sign, which includes action or motion." I see no difference between a (badly) dancing human and an inflatable widgit. As a result, in my opinion, the signs in question are expressly prohibited under the Overlay Ordinances.
The only other provision that comes close to being applicable is the Temporary Sign portion. However, there, the only mention of commercial/retail signs is in Section 2609.04(C), which allows canvas signs, banners, advertising flags, pennants, streamers, garlands and similar devices for 30 days after the initial opening of a business. That provision doesn't appear to be applicable.
Human beings holding signs along the roadside to attract business (and distract drivers) are prohibited and the appropriate authority -- whether PRVWSD or Rankin County Office of Community Development -- should put a stop to it (or simply scrap the Overlay altogether).