It's happened to all of us. One minute you're minding your own business on Lincoln Road, slaloming among septuagenarians with sugar babies on their wrinkly arms, or awkwardly grimacing at the toxically tan hostesses imploring you to look at monstrously large menus. The next you're caught in the tractor beam of a pretty young woman who just won't stop talking. She compliments your hair, your skin, your anything. And before you know it, you're inside a glitzy cosmetics store spending your month's salary.
Businessmen call it "a hard sell." But the City of Miami Beach calls it a code violation. And in the past three years, inspectors have slapped a trio of cosmetics companies with thousands of dollars in fines for the questionable practice.
The companies, however, insist they are simply exercising their constitutional right to free speech. Now they've turned the tables on the city by suing in federal court.