The Madrid city council has approved a new law prohibiting the use of neon advertising signs in the historic centre. Pharmacies, restaurants, cinemas, bars and theatres will be affected by the ban, which should come into effect in Sept/Oct 2006. Thereafter, businesses have 12 months to remove or replace existing signs. Further restrictions are on the way, with the creation of a special protection zone in the old part of the city aimed at controlling the proliferation of advertising, described by mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardn as a blight on the urban landscape.