Retailers Under Pressure to Protect Workers: Live Business Updates

Although there are far fewer people to see them, the digital billboards in Times Square will stay on.

Despite complaints that the displays were wasting electricity to show ads to nearly empty streets, the Times Square Advertising Coalition said in an email that there was “no plan on darkening the signs,” adding that “the bright lights of Broadway reflect the vibrancy of N.Y.C. that continues on even during our darkest days.”

The billboard space is often sold as annual contracts, said Cristyne Nicholas, a spokeswoman for the group, adding that many of the displays had energy-efficient LED technology. Many of the signs feature public service announcements related to the coronavirus pandemic, and those billboards are seen by the tens of thousands of pedestrians that she said were still passing through the area.

Before the outbreak, billboards and other outdoor ads were one of the most promising sectors of advertising, described as “unblockable promotions” by Alexis Ohanian, a Reddit co-founder and a billboard investor. But as people hunker indoors, less attention is being paid to taxi-top ads, advertising murals and other so-called out-of-home displays, causing companies like Clear Channel Outdoor and Outfront Media to cut costs and tap credit.

Oil industry leaders will meet with Trump.

Top oil company executives will meet with President Trump on Friday to discuss possible government steps to take pressure off the industry at a time of slumping energy demand, according to a person close to company leaders.

The executives are not entirely united, with some favoring tariffs on imported oil and others favoring relief from regulations and royalties on federal lands.

The plan for the meeting was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

The meeting comes after Saudi Arabia sought to limit production as the coronavirus outbreak weighed on global markets, but failed to get Russia to agree. As a result, both countries are pumping more oil to gain market share from U.S. producers, driving prices to two-decade lows. West Texas intermediate crude, the American benchmark, is trading barely above $20 a barrel.

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