<body> Public Ad Campaign: Debunkers Collective Meeting
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Debunkers Collective Meeting

photo from Les Deboulonneurs photostream

Last night I sat down with the Debunkers Collective, or the déboulonneurs, which I was told roughly translates to unhinge, unseat, or unscrew. I met with Nicolas Herve who gave me an inside rundown on their operations in Paris and across France. They are an amazing force working both outdoors over advertising, as well as motivating people behind closed doors to listen to the public's wishes. They are meeting with the Minister of Landscape this upcoming week in hopes of helping to refocus the changing of billboard law in France which after 20 years, is being rewritten. They are a powerful force in France and now a friend of PublicAdCampaign in New York.

Their Manifesto is extremely similar to my own, including the deep felt conviction that advertising should be presented in a way that gives the viewer the option to take in the message. In most mediums, like television, radio, magazines, newspapers, the viewer has the option to turn off the advertisement, flip the page, and generally make a conscious decision. As outdoor advertising stands now, the public has little options and are often forced to focus their attentions on private messages and commercial concerns. The Debunkers, not particularly interested in the messages presented in advertising but rather with the way in which they are presented, hopes to change outdoor advertising in France to reflect their interest in a viewer with options.

The way they propose to do this while still allowing outdoor advertising is to limit the size of the outdoor advertisements. They suggest 50x70cm which oddly enough is the restriction that's already placed on political advertisements, NGOs, and union organizations across the country. Nicolas explained that by limiting the size of the advert, those who want the message must actually approach the poster because of its size. A interesting idea for a group trying to work within the law to create an honest debate about outdoor advertising's viability in a major metropolitan city.

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