<body> Public Ad Campaign: While Contest Promotions Is On The Decline, Mediacy Spreads Like Cancer
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

While Contest Promotions Is On The Decline, Mediacy Spreads Like Cancer

NPA outdoor once ran rampant in New York, plastering construction sheds with illegal flyposting and erecting hundreds of illegal street level billboards in all 5 boroughs. Coming under the attack of local citizens and the NYC Department of Buildings, NPA was forced to cease its flyposting activities and face up to the fact that while its inventory of street level billboards looked legitimate, they were in fact highly illegal. The result was NPA dissolving in NYC and re-branding itself as Contest Promotions. This name change was not just for PR but was part of a larger business model shift which attempted to re-define what constitutes outdoor advertising by contending that their illegal signage was in fact 1st party signage. The idea is that because you can win posters and prizes which are similar to the advertisements outside, the Contest Promotions ads are not ads at all, but actually visualizations of products offered on site. New York is in a lawsuit with Contest Promotions over this business model alteration, and while I am unaware of the details, it looks like we might be winning. Which is good because if they win get ready for a wave of outdoor advertising to fill every nook and cranny of our public lives.
Contest Promotions signage is coming down all over the city slowly but steadily. The above and below are examples of locations once held by the company which have recently been abandoned, presumably because they do not stand up to this new business model. While I am excited to see Contest Promotions go, I am even more excited to see what might potentially become of these spaces. The goal of removing signage in the city is not to create a stark environment but rather an environment prepared to accept the imagery and ideas of a local citizenry.
While Contest Promotions seems to be on the decline in New York, another street level nuisance seems to be gaining some footing. Michael Gitter's Mediacy and his Gatescape program has riddled the city in Lady Gaga advertisements, plastering rolldown gates all over the city with decrepit plastic sheeting and two 60 watt lightbulbs. Sadly Michael has gone through the process of obtaining permits for many of his Gatescape locations, making them technically legal. This in no way makes them acceptable in my opinion and as the city is slowly overcrowded with street level signage like this I think we will have to take a long look at how the permitting process in New York allows for the dissemination of commercial messages without concern for the residents of our neighborhoods. Speaking to passersby who had noticed the garish Gaga posters, most people found the ads ugly, uncharacteristic of their neighborhoods, and an intrusion on their psyche which was entirely unwanted. At some point permits will not matter in the wake of aggressive public opinion.
Mediacy Gatescape Advertising

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Blogger Curtis said...

I think if you check harder you'll find these sites are not permitted or legal. Maybe someone from the City should visit each location and ask to see their permits.Or better yet, ask HBO if they've seen the permits. You'll see how fast these things disappear. These guys are giving a bad name to legitimate OOH media companies.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gaga looks like a Vampire Playboy Bunny in that picture.


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