<body> Public Ad Campaign: January 2010
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.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

“Renegade Sign Bandits” Call Attention to Fuel Outdoor’s Illegal Billboards

Ban Billboard Blight reports that "renegade sign bandits" have hit the streets of LA plastering Fuel Outdoors' illegal signage with violation notices from the city of LA. It should be noted that New York is also a victim of Fuel Outdoor and it's illegal advertising signage. According to BBB, "A spokesperson for the L.A. Department of Building and Safety confirmed that the city had nothing to do the notices." Clearly this is a public reaction to LA's unwillingness to follow through with sign removal after a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision not to hear Metrolights' appeal put the final nail in the coffin that is their legal battle to legitimize their illegal signage business. More [HERE]

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Friday, January 29, 2010

KAWS - FIRST BUS-STOPS- NYC, 1997



1997 was 13 years ago which reminds me I've been working on PublicAdCampaign for 10 years, doing my first subway station takeover in December of 2000. Yikes! 2010 is setting up to be a great year for us and we look forward to working with everyone in the months to come.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Should OAC's Be Subject To The Same Penalties Grafitti Writers Face?

BC Biermann, a PhD Assistant Professor of Film/Media Studies California Baptist University – Riverside has recently published a paper on "Spatial Distributions of Power: Illegal Billboards as Graffiti in Los Angeles." In it he argues...
"While graffiti has regularly been prosecuted as form of vandalism, illegal billboards have not. Illegal billboards are generally defined as panels for the display of advertisements in public places (such as alongside highways or on the sides of buildings) that have not received the legal permits and safety inspections; panels that display ads not related to structure or property they are affixed to may also quality as “unlawful.” It is my contention that illegal billboards are a form of graffiti and, as a result, should be prosecuted as a form of vandalism."
In this paper, Mr. Biermann comes to some conclusions that have informed our practice here at PublicAdCampaign for years. In fact, he calls upon the NYSAT project (without credit) as an example of civil disobedience that attempts to challenge commercial control of public messages while promoting a more just public arena, interested in promoting individual identity and citizen directed spatial control.

I highly suggest reading the paper, but if you don't have the time, ill leave you with the final 2 sentences.
In this way, via a constant bombardment of a hegemonic truth, corpo-political regimes control the means by which individuals seek to know, decipher, and act on themselves. Acting as if they were free in within a liberal, democratic system of rule, the good consumer citizen is calculatedly and spatially constructed.
Indeed, this is truly about who we are and who we want to be as people and a society. When our influences come from the corporate machine, we have a hard time defining for ourselves the truths with which we would like to live.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Philip Lumbang Commision To Be Removed By Los Angeles City

If you follow LA advertising issues, and you should if you enjoy this site, you know how insanely difficult it is to have illegal signage removed even after the city has deemed the advertisement in violation. As it turns out, getting art murals removed is a hell of a lot easier. Artist Philip Lumbang, a recent NYSAT participant, was commissioned to do this mural in a residential area of LA. According to him it is being slated for removal after a single resident complained about it. Now I'm sorry, but something is very very wrong when it takes the city less than a week to remove artwork and over a year to remove huge illegal supergraphics. It makes you want to go out and do what the city can't do for itself, tear these eyesores down with your bare hands. This is all on top of the fact that this mural is actually blocks from a preschool that you can be sure enjoys this neighborhood addition on a daily basis. God help us all when our public space becomes a venue for the sale of commercial items and cannot serve the actual people who live and breath in our cities. Asked to fill us in, the Philip explains the situation like this...
I'm a lil fuzzy on it myself but, I painted that in a residential neighborhood as a commission. And for the last year it has been riding high, but for some reason one of the neighbors decided to call the city about it to complain. And I guess the deal is you can't have a mural on private residential property or some bs like that. I guess it's on the same guide lines as shop keepers maintaining a clean facade with no graffiti. But it's pretty stupid because from what I understand is that pretty much everyone loves that mural except for that one person that called it in and to top it off it is right next door to a preschool. So no the kids are missing out. Oh and get this to even try a petition to keep the wall you have to pay like $1500 or some obscene amount so the city could even consider not taking it down.

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It's Official, The New York Street Advertising Takeover Microsite Is Up

Monday morning at approximately 11:00am the final 3 arrested NYSAT participants had their cases dismissed because the NPA employees who called the police on them failed to sign the deposition in order move forward with the case. This is the same thing that happened with all 9 of the arrests associated with the two NYSAT projects and is an indication that NPA is not interested in a legal battle because they know what they are doing is illegal and would rather sweep controversy under the rug. Now that our participants are safe, our lawyers have told us we can finally launch the official NYSAT website.


On this website you will find an immense amount of information regarding the projects including, project documentation, maps, video, press, information on NPA, information on how to identify and report illegal signage, and a description of how you too can create a public intervention of your own.

We would like to thank everyone involved in this project whose participation made it possible to create such a large scale public intervention that not only benefited the participants but the city at large. We have been continually impressed with the level of commitment NYC residents have to their city and their shared public spaces. It is truly an indication of how much people care about the city they live in and the spaces which knit all those private residences, and ourselves together.

Please note that gathering all the information for this site has been a challenge and we admit there might be some things we overlooked in the process. If you were a participant and you have not been credited, would like to remain anonymous, have imagery you would like included or generally have changes, please contact us and we will alter the site immediately. We cannot thank everyone enough for their dedication to this cause and New York City in general.

Sincerely PublicAdCampaign

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Get Your Dollar From InWindow!

It may seem like we spend hours browsing outdoor advertising sites, but we don't, they send us emails with this kind of information all the time. InWindow, the company who envisions their business for potential customers with this doosey...
"Picture a giant billboard several stories overhead. Now imagine bringing it down to street level where it is literally face to face with huge crowds of potential customers."
has a new website. They are so excited about it and their new I-phone app, that they are offering you a dollar just for downloading the app. Of course this is for a limited time, which they don't specify, but I suggest you get your dollar.
For a limited time only, we'll pay you $1 when you download the app from the App Store or iTunes. Just send the email confirmation from Apple to info@inwindowoutdoor.com and we'll send you $1 via PayPal. Easy as that!
Enjoy!

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Video of Moscow's Billboard Porn Hack [NSFW]



Im not sure if this is appropriate content for advertising takeovers but it sure as hell does get your attention. On top of this there is no mistaking that someone clearly hacked this billboard.

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Gran via XXX-New Madrid Cross Out Campaign

I was just emailed a tip that a second huge cross out campaign was done in Madrid, this time taking place over street furniture advertising locations. Upon further inquiry, the person who got in touch would only tell me that an "active group of urban artists from Madrid" had done this, and that they wanted to take no responsibility. At least that is the way it came off in translation. Check out the full set of images, and see the related first action which took place over billboards in June.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Graffiti, Billboards, and Reclaiming Public Space Appropriated by Illegal Advertising

The most recent post written by Dennis on Ban Billboard blight asks what the difference is between illegal advertising and graffiti, or what I would refer to as scrawl since I know many extremely talented graffiti artists. After citing LA Municipal code's definition of graffiti he comes to the conclusion that they are indeed very similar despite one being a serious crime punishable by serious jail time, while the other often seems to be quietly tolerated by most cities in our country.

I would add that there is another huge difference which I think is often overlooked and which makes graffiti the lesser crime, or at least the one done out of neccessity or survival, while advertising is done for pure profit. Many sociological looks at graffiti practitioners, including several wonderful books by Jeff Ferrell, make the point that graffiti is an outlet of expression for many youth which find themselves unable to assert their identity in our society. Constantly bombarded by corporate iconography and invisible in a cities of millions flying from one place to the next, tagging your surroundings becomes a way to integrate yourself into the city's fabric. Tagging may not be the best way to do so but we have to admit that there might be a social failure at work here, instead of seeing it as an aggressive act of destruction at the hands of deranged youth, that so often describes graffiti practice.

In fact here at PublicAdCampaign we have come to believe that actively altering your public space has enormous psychological benefits for those participating in the act. The act of altering your public space creates a link between the person who made the alteration and the space in which that alteration was made. This bond engenders a sense of responsibility for that space. Someone who feels responsibility for parts of the city will protect that space because in fact that space is now a representation of yourself.

Graffiti may not be the best or most appreciated way for individuals to create psychic connections with their public environment but we think it is just that. If we accept this fact then we might do better spending our tax dollars on programs which allow youth to create meaningful bonds with their city environment instead of hunting them down and throwing them in jail. If we do this we might even find our city beautified by public mural projects, community gardens, neighborhood festivities and a more lively public space that pleases the senses instead of insulting our intelligence.


VIA Ban Billboard Blight

What is the difference between those who spray paint gang slogans and other kinds of graffiti on public walls and companies that put up illegal billboards and supergraphic signs? What is the difference, fundamentally, between graffiti and illegal outdoor advertising? Both make a claim on public space, saying “Look at this!” without observing any laws or considering that citizens might deserve a voice in what they’re forced to see when they drive, walk, or otherwise experience their urban environment.[MORE]

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Ex-Mistress Uses Billboards To Shame Her Married Beau

Although I wish she didn't have to pay upwards of a quarter million dollars to make such a private statement public, YaVaughnie is definitely properly using public space. Similar to the Robbo vs Banksy beef, an interesting dialogue plays out for all of us to watch. When content like this is posted on the great messaging boards of our time, our interest and interaction with our shared environment becomes a richer and more entertaining experience than when these locations hold their typical one way advertising messages. Good work YaVaughnie!

VIA Gothamist

A woman who reportedly had an eight-and-a-half year affair with the married head of a major technology company purchased at least three Manhattan billboards in an attempt to shame the man. Ads showing Oracle President Charles Phillips posing with his mistress YaVaughnie Wilkins with the quote "'You are my soulmate forever!' - cep" have been posted at the corners of 45th Street and Third Avenue, 49th Street and 7th Avenue, 52nd Street and Broadway, as well as locations in Atlanta and San Francisco.[MORE]

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Mediacy Gatescapes Hit The Streets 01-19-10

Rendering courtesy of Mediacy Inc.

A while back we were sent Mediacy's press release for their new advertising venture called Gatescapes. These eyesores, we assumed would be illegal like the Streetscape advertisements pushed by InWindow, Blue Outdoor, and others. Mr. Gitter, Mediacy's CEO, contacted us after we made this clear on our site and this began a series of conversations. Mainly we talked about our differing opinions on how this would alter the NYC landscape. We argued that 15 foot tall ads for The Real Housewives of wherever would be intrusions into our community that would treat residents as "impressions" to be used for commercial interests, they argued that these vinyl ads would counteract graffiti and enliven our city streets. Along with this, conversations on how art could benefit from this new media venture were had. It was proposed by Mr. Gitter that we become a part of this process of curating these artworks. I was worried that artists would be used to legitimate what might be an illegal advertising business and that the offering of space to artists was not an altruistic act by the company but a ploy to deflect attention from the potentially illegal advertising business. I explained that my involvement would require that at least 51% of the gates owned by the company be used for art because this was the only way I could see the advertising serving the art and not the other way around. Obviously this did not fly and Mediacy and PublicAdCampaign are no longer in talks. According to their website, 25% of the Gatescape spaces will be used for artwork and will be curated by Julia Lazarus.

Mediacy has gone ahead with their business in NYC, and we were happy to see them officially registering as an Outdoor Advertising Company on January 14th, 2010. This registration is necessary for a business to offer outdoor advertising services in New York and is the first step in bringing advertising to the streets legally. I am still unsure if Mediacy is trying to do this knowing we will be watching, or because it is the right thing to do, but either way we commend them for it. In fact they make specific mention of their legal aspirations on their website in their explanation of the great opportunity that are Gatescapes.
That's right-- it's so good that's it available for a limited time only. NYC has passed a law banning solid metal roll-down storefront gates. That means there's only 16 more years to advertise on one of the largest format, most visible, legally permitted outdoor media available anywhere! Don't miss your chance. Call Mediacy Outdoor while there's still time!
January 19th, Mediacy launched its first non commercial Gatescape at 323 west 42nd street with an installation for Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's research fund. Checking into the DOB website, there is no permit for outdoor advertising signage at 323 west 42nd street. This isn't a problem with the current content as the DOB does not issue violations for non-commercial signs but if this sign were to change to an ad for Coca-Cola it would be an entirely different story.

Rendering courtesy of Mediacy Inc.

As of now we are anxiously awaiting Julia Lazarus's contribution to our city in the form of curated artwork on the plethora of rolldown gates in our city. We are also interested to see Mediacy's commercial content hit the streets and whether or not there will be permitting along with these signs. Despite our disapproval for this type of signage in general, going about advertising legally in our city allows the DOB to make sure that this signage will not get out of hand and will remain in properly zoned areas. We ask our readers to keep their eyes on the streets for these new Gatescapes in an effort to hold Mediacy true to their word on keeping things legal.

Rendering courtesy of Mediacy Inc.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Putting Together The NYSAT Website Makes Me Mad

I put these two pieces up last night in an effort to continue working on the street as much as possible in 2010. As I mentioned two posts ago, I have been wanting to break the frame and begin collapsing the space between the advertisement and the outdoor environment. I hope to eventually be able to visually get rid of the advertisement as well as the frame that retains it. This piece begins to do that but practice on the street will make a big difference. Each of these takes about 15 minutes to install and I am not used to working at one spot for that long. I was hoping to continue the weave off the frame on the far side but not only was there a puddle to wade through but a parked NYC tow truck driver, staring me down with his headlights, made me very nervous. Ill do more of these and see if I can get them to work.

Washington between 13th and 14th street south side 01-20-10

27th street and 8th avenue SEC 01-20-10

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Gender Bending Hotties Invade Chelsea at 300 West 22nd Street

Just when I thought Streetscapes had been abandoned by outdoor advertisers in NYC, or at least in Chelsea, a new one shows up right in the hood. Now I like Rupaul just the same as the next guy but I don't want to indulge her, and her gender bending buddies, first thing in the morning at 15 feet tall. Having grown up in Chelsea I can enjoy a beautiful man like the next, but let's keep it legal people.

One would assume this immense illegal Streetscape advertisement had its initial complaint # 1274075 called in by the same person who posted the above sign. It reads...
This is illegal corporate graffiti

This is an Environmental Control Board (ECB) Violation.

The Department of Buildings has been contacted, please remove this abomination IMMEDIATELY, this is not Times Square.

Building owners who lease ads on their premises are considered outdoor advertising companies. As such, they can be fined a maximum of 25,000 dollars

Call 311 to add your complaint

status number is 1274075
I obviously called this "abomination" in as well given that the recent equinox billboard removal in Greenwich Village came after huge public outcry made it a newsworthy issue. When I went to check complaint # 1274098 that I made at 9:00am this morning there was already a 3rd complaint filed by another party.

I find it interesting that this concerned New Yorker complains "this is not Times Square". Many New Yorkers you talk to have no problem with the theme park being run in midtown. In fact many New Yorkers rarely pass through that part of town unless out of necessity. As is evidenced in this public response, this does not mean New Yorkers want to live in Times Square. Although New York, and particularly Manhattan, feels less like somewhere we live and more like somewhere the world visits, this is simply not the case. Our neighborhoods and communities are just that. Using them as sites of commercial interruption, especially when done illegally, harms the people that live in this city and the sense of control over their environment that is needed to feel invested in ones community. Streetscapes like this and the others we have kept track of are particularly insulting because of their scale and placement which is meant to overwhelm the viewer.

I also find it interesting that this resident makes the comparison between advertising and traditional graffiti. When outdoor advertising is illegal, you can often find this comment being made. I am inclined to disagree slightly because it would seem graffiti artists often become incredibly productive parts of our society working in design, the arts, and ironically advertising, as well as many other fields. People who hang advertising and particularly illegal postings like this, continue a long and drawn out career of violating our streets in new and more insidious ways. This says nothing about the fact that graffiti or marking ones environment as a way to find ones identity in a city of 8 million people, might actually be a important avenue of expression for our youth.

I have added this location to our Streetscape map where you can find more illegal ads posted by companies like InWindow and Blue Outdoor. We will report back when this Streetscape is removed.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Miss Bugs Advertising Takeover

I apologize profusely for not posting more this year but I have been working hard on some things to come and they are taking a huge portion of my time these days. I will continue to post more regularly, I promise.

Miss Bugs isn't known for doing ad takeovers but I do love this piece. I have been toying with how to start collapsing the space between the advertisement and the environment lately and this is a fantastic example of just that. For more of Miss Bugs' work go [HERE]

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

NPA Has No Respect For Chico, Pete, Or You For That Matter

I was looking through some old images of NPA's illegal street level billboards in NYC and realized I hadn't noticed their complete lack of respect for New York's public mural works. Like the Conor Harrington mural that they so callously covered and Dick Chicken and I then liberated, NPA seems to seek out Chico and Pete's work in order to cover it. These artists are not only NYC legends, but true community members and invested urban citizens, painting messages of hope and inclusion on the streets for all of us to enjoy.

Houston Street Between A+B North
6th Street & Avenue C SWC
Norfolk & Delancey NEC

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Mobile Billboards: Bringing More Air Pollution, Traffic Congestion, Parking Problems

I love Ban Billboard Blight for their continued coverage of LA based outdoor advertising issues. In their most recent post on mobile billboards they pose this question...
So how should we regard the rapidly-growing phenomenon of mobile billboards mounted on trucks and trailers and driven through the streets or left sitting for days in highly sought-after parking spaces? As inevitable manifestations of commercial enterprise, or as destructive, anti-social assaults on our shared public spaces that ought to banned forthwith?
The San Francisco ordinance banning mobile advertising is explained like this...
By their nature, commercial advertising vehicles are intended to distract, and aim to capture and hold the attention of, members of the public on or adjoining public streets, including drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others. Moreover, such vehicles display commercial advertising from a mobile platform, including while the vehicle is moving within the flow of traffic, potentially stopping, starting, or turning abruptly, accentuating the inherent tendency of such advertising to seize attention and to distract. Additionally, the use of motor vehicles to display commercial advertising creates exhaust emissions. For these reasons, the Board of Supervisors finds that commercial advertising vehicles create aesthetic blight and visual clutter and create potential and actual traffic and health and safety hazards.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Google Plans to Upgrade Old Billboards in Street View

A new patent recently granted to Google will allow the sale of billboards on Google Maps in an auction style reward the highest bidder format. As this new form of advertising becomes more widely used, look for Starbucks to usurp your local coffee shop's awning to advertise for it's nationwide chain.

VIA Read Write Web

According to a new patent that was just granted to Google, the company could soon extend the reach of its advertising program in Google Maps to Street View. This patent, which was originally filed on July 7, 2008, describes a new system for promoting ads in online mapping applications. In this patent, Google describes how it plans to identify buildings, posters, signs and billboards in these images and give advertisers the ability to replace these images with more up-to-date ads. In addition, Google also seems to plan an advertising auction for unclaimed properties. [More]

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Artists Reclaim Public Space: A Conversation with Public Ad Campaign Founder Jordan Seiler

A while back I was asked to speak with Danny Valdes on his first radio broadcast of Radio Provocateur on WVRB radio. You can listen to our talk here. This discussion turned into an article for The Indypendent that you can read here. We were happy to see the first comment on the article was posted by Reverend Billy himself.

Rev Billy Says:

That is an energizing vision for New York City. We are mired in a post-great- city provincialism now. New Yorker’s creative life is encased in inbred careers. The arts are unheard-of, for instance, outside of their subcultures of critics, parties and backers. Relinquishing public space is key to the impotence and de-politicization of the arts. My own home art form is theater, and literally nobody has any idea what theater is doing. Meanwhile, the totalizing saturation by varieties of corporate theater on our streets and sidewalks is permitted even when it’s clearly illegal. We’re trained to respond with, what, “good for jobs!” “private property!” “the struggling economy!” Democracy, and a subset of democracy - call it “the greatness of a New York” - depends on re-taking public space.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

GVSHP Gets Serious About Illegal Signage at Greenwich and 12th Street

We just got an email from Andrew Berman at the Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation regarding the illegal Equinox signage at Greenwich Ave. & 12th street. As it explains very thoroughly what has been done to remove the illegal signage, I will copy it below verbatim. Amongst other things the GVSHP polices advertising and signage infractions within their community and has a great track record for making things happen. It seems from this email that the ball is rolling and that this illegal sign will likely come down quickly.
Dear friend,

I wanted to let you know that we have just been informed that the Department of Buildings today issued 13 violations to Equinox for their billboards at Greenwich Avenue and 12th Street. The Landmarks Preservation Commission has also issued them a warning letter, which can be found at PDF.

As you know, we have been pushing the city to issue strong violations against Equinox as soon as possible, to force them to remove the signage. We will continue to push both the city and Equinox until the illegal signage is removed.

Toward that end, please see the article about these efforts in today's Villager newspaper and look for a report on tonight's NY1 news.

Thank you for all your help with this matter. We will continue to keep you informed on our progress in pursuing these billboards' removal.
What is amazing to me is that a single sign like this can cause such outrage because of its high profile nature while an entire company like Contest Promotions or NPA can go completely unaffected, operating over 500 illegal signs around the city of which I have mapped over 180. Not only have we mapped these locations but we have given them to the GVSHP and the DOB. On top of this we have gathered in mass on two occasions to take back these spaces for public use and 9 of us have been arrested. The result of all this has been a resounding quiet to say the least, although we have had a lot of fun.

At first glance it would seem that the public is less concerned about the smaller less obtrusive signage pictured above and run illegally by NPA. Rather I think we have become so accustomed to these smaller signs that we cannot imagine they are actually illegal. In fact I think unless something glares so brightly that you cannot not notice it, most of us spend little time assessing the quality of our city streets and realizing that we have some level of control over those spaces. This knowledge is not only fantastic on the individual level, but collectively if we question and take responsibility for our public spaces we become very invested in our neighborhoods and communities.

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Unsanctioned Gym Billboard Sparks Outrage In West Village

It's great to see people up in arms about commercial signage appropriating public spaces but this one, despite not being properly permitted, is still a first party sign. I would hope that this outrage will continue as we see other illegal signs enter our neighborhoods on illegal walls and rolldown gates toting signage that has nothing to do with the business or building it is adhered to.

VIA Gothamist
We've spent a good chunk of time writing about illegal advertisements, but few have been as large — or caused as much fury — as this billboard in the West Village. Ever since the Equinox Health Club wrapped its Greenwich Avenue building with seemingly illegal ads, preservationists have been up in arms, according to Curbed. [MORE]

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

InWindow Mallways, A Better Business Model


A while back InWindow was destroying the streets of New York with Streetscape advertisements. After critiquing their operation for illegally installing these giant street level billboards, their CEO contacted PublicAdCampaign looking to explain why they weren't so bad. We invited Steve Lambert of the Anti-Advertising Agency to come with us and hear them out at the old NYC staple, Fanelli's Cafe. Long story short Steve Birnhak (CEO) and Ray Lee (real estate operations manager) told us they were doing the city a service by covering empty storefronts with their illegal advertisements. The giant ads were supposedly staving off blight and the inevitable neighborhood degeneration associated with it as businesses went belly up in the economic crisis. Obviously this was a matter of opinion and one both Steve Lambert and I disagreed with. It was our opinion that the ads were in fact altering our shared environment for the worse by taking advantage of bad times and the public in general. We were asked to stop finding fault with their business, we responded by asking them to stop illegally using our streets and pursue their other legal outdoor advertising concepts. It seems in New York at least the large Streetscapes have all but disappeared. It also seems InWindow has heeded our advice and put its efforts into Mallways, a legal derivative of their illegal Streetscape operation, and one you can ignore by not entering the church of consumption we call The Mall. If you do see Streetscapes in your neighborhood, please send us a picture with the exact address.

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Blue Outdoor Offers New Windowscape To Ruin Your Day In The Park

Here at PublicAdCampaign we get lots of fun emails from OAC's that don't have a clue about what we do. Just yesterday we received a press release from Blue Outdoor offering the largest Windowscape we have ever seen right across the street from Bryant Park at 1095 6th Avenue. For a mere $150,000.00 a month your company can take advantage of all the public individuals attempting to find relaxation right across the street. With over 200 feet of space along 6th Avenue as well as 100 feet along 42nd street, this location would dwarf every billboard we know of in this city. If this is a little too pricey, you can opt for a cheaper location right around the corner on 42nd street with 2,500 square feet of advertising space for a mere $50,000.00 a month. If you are one of the people who think you can ignore outdoor advertising, I would bet companies willing to shell out $150,000.00 a month tend to disagree.

As of now there are no permits at either of these locations for 3rd party signage as the zoning does not allow it. We will keep our eyes on the street and report any infractions. We have found that simply posting these shenanigans on our site can deter OAC's from making the mistake of littering our public spaces with commercial messages. We sincerely hope this will be the case with this supergraphic as it will be detrimental to our city and public health. [Download Press Release BlueOutdoor_42ndst.pdf] [Download Press Release BlueOutdoor_10956thAve.pdf]

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Billboards on Co-ops/Condos: How to Make Money on Signage & Avoid Fines


Frank Lovece, a reporter for the 28-year-old New York co-op/condo-board magazine Habitat, interviewed me about billboard etiquette in NYC a few months ago. The article is a what to do and not do when thinking about renting the side of your co-op to an OAC. It is pretty straight forward, but if you are not familiar with how the process works, an interesting read. As the article is mainly about how to go about renting without getting in trouble with the law, we were contacted as an advocacy group familiar with some of the aesthetic and social issues surrounding outdoor advertising. Quoted at the end of the article, our question was just because you can make money off of selling our collective public spaces, does that mean you should?

Jan. 4, 2010 — Nearly one million dollars.

That's the amount of fines the city levied against 59 Fourth Avenue, in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, for two years of illegal billboard signage. And though that figure is divided among the co-op there and the two companies that brokered and mounted the hanging vinyl billboards for the movie Twilight, TV's King of the Hill and Boost Mobile phones, it's still an enormous sum for any co-op or condo board to absorb. [MORE]

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Monday, January 4, 2010

LSD Interview With PublicAdCampaign

I was interviewed over the phone by Cyrus at London Street Art & Design a few weeks ago. At the time I didn't realize the entirety of our conversation would be used verbatim. Normally I wouldn't want my stream of conscious ramblings to be printed, but amidst the incoherence glimpses of my un-adulterated thoughts come through. There is some interesting content on some fantastic artists in the 3rd issue of this web magazine and I suggest taking a look.

"Much of the essence of street art and conscious living in general has the reclamation of our warped public spaces at its core. The endless pervasion of our realities by apathy and advertising alike has slowly eroded a sense of self defined community and a creative pride in the world we live in. Yet while many artists pirate the medium of public advertising to sow seeds of self questioning, few have been as dedicatedly activist as New York’s Jordan Seiler and his Public Ad Campaign. From hijacking legal advertising to creating forums for open and enlightened debate to taking on the behemoths of vested interest themselves, he has tirelessly worked to open up the conversation about the nature of our society and shine a light on indifference and conditioning. He spoke to us." [MORE]

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mini Cooper Ad Campaign Gets Trashy with Giant Cardboard Boxes

Back in April, Heineken took a page out of Bud Light's funny-book and created some pretty comical ads showing a comparison between a woman's fantasy closet filled with couture apparel and a guy's penultimate setup filled with beer. Taking things one step further, as a follow-up, massive cardboard boxes with the words 'Walk-in Fridge' were strewn around Amsterdam just before garbage day. [MORE]

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Situationist Methodology Still Sits Well With Me

Someone left a copy of Overspray Magazine at my studio the other day and as I thumbed through it I came across this small blip on Urban Pranksterism. There were some fun quotes I thought were relevant as we redefine some of the motivations for our work to help guide us forward in this new year.

"...it's about hitting people with something visceral that will force them to confront an unlicensed alternative to the current monopoly on visual space held by our local governments and their corporate sponsors."
"Part of defining a public space is decorating it, inhabiting it and playing with new uses for it. Just because we weren't consulted on the design process of our cities doesn't make them any less ours, and shouldn't mean that we have to sit out when our idea of how the space can be put to use doesn't mesh with the official stance."
"Turning a public space into a vehicle for any kind of art is a politicized act in itself, whether or not the project has overtly political content."
"The power of street art doesn't necessarily even have to lie within the content of the pieces themselves, but rather in the knowledge that no permission was sought, that someone is still working outside the systems that dictate who is allowed to use public visual space."

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Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, Same Problems, Similar Solutions.

As we begin this new year, let us remember why we are compelled to take over, destroy, and otherwise manipulate advertising messages brought to us in our shared public spaces. Let us continue through this year undeterred by obstacles which seem improbably large and pursue a vision of a public space rendered from our own imaginations. Let us rejoice in our communities, the dialogues, and conversations which keep us actively engaged in the lives we live and the spaces we occupy.
"Any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It belongs to you. It's yours to take, re-arrange, and re-use. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head." -Banksy, street artist (b. 1974)

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      Naomi Klein
      No Logo


      Kalle Lasn
      Culture Jam


      Stuart Ewen
      Captains of Consciousness


      Stuart Ewen
      All Consuming Images


      Stuart & Elizabeth Ewen
      Channels of Desire


      Jeff Ferrell
      Crimes of Style


      Jeff Ferrell
      Tearing Down the Streets


      John Berger
      Ways of Seeing


      Joe Austin
      Taking the Train


      Rosalyn Deutsche
      Evictions art + spatial politics


      Jane Jacobs
      Death+Life of American Cities