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New York Daily Photo: Advertising Gone Wild
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Friday, 16 November 2007

Advertising Gone Wild

New York City has always been a place where commerce and advertising have been prominent in the landscape - Times Square is a good example. However, the combination of digital technology (with the ability to print enormous signs on vinyl) and the lure of advertising revenue has taken it to new heights with building walls in the city being blanketed by ad murals, not to mention advertising in a myriad of other variations - newsboxes, ads projected on streets etc. What the smug New Yorker always saw as a blighted feature of the suburbs, and believing that the sophisticated culture of NYC provided immunity from the same, has now become a prominent feature of the city. Commercial interests are relentless and tenacious, however, and keeping them in check requires, if I may borrow from the ACLU motto, eternal vigilance. Commerce usually wins - even in France, Apple Computer managed to hang Think Different banners, featuring Gustave Eiffel and Pablo Picasso, on the facade of the Louvre. The Gap ad in this photo hangs on Houston Street, a few blocks from The Wall, which I wrote about previously. Houston Street is ideal for this type of ad - the street is heavily trafficked and has many large building facades. What surprises me most is that in many cases these murals are placed over apartment windows, obstructing views and light (in some cases you see cutouts for the windows). But alas, the issue of billboards is not new. I ran across this article in the New York Times which I thought was recent: BILLBOARD COMMISSION ADVISES DRASTIC REFORMS; Fire Hazard Is Increased, Real Estate Values Depreciated, and the Beauty of the City Marred, It Reports, by Many of the Big Signs and Their Structures.
Date of article: 1914 ...

Related Postings: Big and Beautiful?, Manhattan Mural, The Wall


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