Philly bill could tack down inflatable tube men

yellow inflatable man on blue sky background
Bobby Henon’s bill targets the waving inflatable-tube men often used by car dealerships.

What is a wacky wavy arm flailing inflatable tube man without the waving arms and flailing tubes?  A Philadelphia councilman wants to find out.

Under a bill proposed this month by Councilman Bobby Henon, the colorful attention-grabbers often used at car dealerships would not be banned outright, but would be subject to new city regulations: “Portable signs shall be temporarily secured to resist rolling, blowing away, tipping over, or otherwise moving from their secured location. Portable signs shall not be located in the right-of-way.”

It’s not the first time Henon has targeted the flappy figures, which he described as “blight” and a detraction from the city’s “quality and integrity and dignity.”

The bill also classifies “feather flags” and banners as portable signs, but excludes the A-frame signs that restaurants and boutiques often use on their sidewalks to lure passing pedestrians.



Henon’s chief of staff, Courtney Voss, told PlanPhilly that these “Wacky wavy arm flailing inflatable tube men … are all over the place including in our district, particularly along our business corridors and in our industrially zoned areas.  The Councilman really, really dislikes them.”

Henon acknowledged that other council members have concerns about the proposal, which was sent to the Rules Committee and awaits a June 13 hearing.