"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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you $1 via PayPal. Easy as that!Enjoy!
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]
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.
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 graffitiI 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.
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 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.
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.
Sign Companies, Property Owners, Advertising Agencies, Major Corporations Thumb Their Noses at L.A.’s New Off-Site Sign Ban
Almost a year after the L.A. City Council approved a moratorium on new off-site and supergraphic signs, and four months after it replaced that temporary measure with a permanent ban, advertisers and sign companies continue to wrap, hang, and otherwise display their multi-story supergraphic signs on the walls of buildings throughout the city.
So why are property owners and sign companies willing to risk open violation of the law, and advertising agencies and major corporations willing to look the other way? The answer is easy to surmise from the fact that a large supergraphic in a high-traffic location can generate upwards of $50,000 in monthly revenue, while the maximum fine for violating sign law provisions is $100 a day.
The City Attorney’s office has filed at least two civil suits under a public nuisance provision that allows fines of up to $2,500 a day, but those lawsuits are slowly moving through the courts and any resolution is likely to be months away, if not longer, depending upon appeals.
In the meantime, absent any sudden displays of social and civic responsibility on the part of the outdoor advertising industry, expect to see the city’s public spaces occupied by more and more of these huge sales pitches demanding the attention of everyone driving, walking, bicycling or otherwise moving past them.
how did I not see this before?