I first saw this story on the BBC News site. My, response, given the lack of detail (no picture of the offending devices) was, "who are the ad retards behind this?".
A friend IM'd me a link to CCN's reporting of the story. When I saw the character that was on the blinking signage pieces I got a good laugh. It;s Ignignokt from Mooninite Marauders on Adult Swin (Cartoon Network). I've never seen the show but I'm familiar with the character. It's hard to gauge who acted foolishly in this situation. I'm assuming these done with the help of people with some knowledge of outdoor media buys and they were placed legally and with approval, but who knows.