<body> Public Ad Campaign: Frequent Reader Questions
This blog is a resource for ad takeover artists and information about contemporary advertising issues in public space. If you have content you would like to share, please send us an email.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Frequent Reader Questions

I just received this email and wanted wish the person who sent it luck. This is what PublicAdCampaign is ultimately about for me. Promoting and facilitating the public's interest and involvement in their public space. Though this happens through the use of outdoor advertising venues and frames, it is about enjoying the act of creation in our shared public spaces.
Hi Jordan, I am a frequent reader of public access campaign, and enjoy reading your posts

i recently watched your video about replacing the ads on the sides of phone booths, and am interested in trying it myself

i have a cordless drill, and am buying an tamper-proof bit set.

i have 2 questions,

1: do you know the size the ads are (for the sides), or should I just open one up myself and measure it to be sure

2: have you ever been arrested doing this? im trying to gauge the likelihood of this happening...do you think its smarter to do it in the dark, total stealth mode, or be in clear daylight posing as a van wagner worker.......it should only take like 30 seconds from start to finish im hoping...i plan on doing this around the east village...
have you ever had any trouble with undercover officers or people on the street getting pissed and confronting you?

thanks for your help man,

This is My Responses:
Fantastic! You should absolutely try it yourself. It is a wonderful way to spend an evening or afternoon becoming a more integral part of your city fabric. Please send me the results and I will post them immediately.

Answer 1:
The ads on the sides of NYC phone kiosks are 26'x50'. The ads on the back come in a few sizes depending on the type of kiosk they are in and should be measured accordingly. You can measure these without opening the kiosk, just add 1 inch to the length and height of the inside frame measurement.

Answer 2:
a) I have never been arrested doing advertising takeovers on the street. This does not mean it cannot, or will not happen. As you may or may not know, 4 people were arrested in the recent NYSAT project, although this was under special circumstances. When I have been stopped by NYPD, I have had to make an appearance before a judge. This appearance, all three times it has taken place, has resulted in 6 months of probation. Provided you are not caught committing similar acts within this 6 month period (which usually starts the day you were actually caught), your record is wiped clean.

b) The night or day question for me depends on one thing and that is whether or not the phone kiosk you are going to takeover is illuminated. You can obviously tell this easily at night, but if you are curious if a booth is illuminated during the day, simply cup your hands around your eyes and hold them tight to the kiosk. You will see the backliting this way, as the lights are not turned off or are on any sensor. If the booth is illuminated I would do your takeover during the day. Van Wagner and others do not, to my knowledge, replace ads during the night and an open illuminated kiosk is like a lighthouse, it can be seen for blocks. I have seen employees changing kiosk ads with and without safety vests so that choice is up to you. Provided the phonekiok is not illuminated, I would do things late at night.

c) Two of the Three times I have been stopped it was by undercover officers. Generally, people will pay little attention to what you are doing, unless you are removing a popular upcoming movie poster, in which case someone will probably ask you if they can have it.

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