Advertising is more and more becoming an integrated part of our urban landscape. There’s almost no public place left without billboards or similar things. Some places even have a advertising overkill – a visual flood of billboards, flashing neon ads and more.
São Paulo decided to make a rather drastic step to change this: Since 1. January 2007, all outdoor advertisement is prohibited.
The law for this ruling was enacted in September 2006. There was only one vote against it. Posting advertising in the public is now threatened with a fine of up to several thousand Euros.
Predictably, the advertising industry isn’t very happy about this:
“I think this city is going to become a sadder, duller place,” said Dalton Silvano, who cast the sole dissenting vote and is in the advertising business. “Advertising is both an art form and, when you’re in your car or alone on foot, a form of entertainment that helps relieve solitude and boredom.”
Most parts population welcome the change. According to the mayor, previous attempts to regulate outdoor ads had not been honored by the industry. The city did not have the capacities to control softer regulations, so the only way left was a complet out ruling of outdoor advertisements.
Some companies admit that public space had been abused and a large part of the roughly 13’000 billboards had been installed illegally.
Personally, I think this is very cool. 🙂 The advertising ban will probably be a huge benefit to the urban landscape of São Paulo. You can see some photos by Tony de Marco on Flickr which show the town with abandoned billboards. Beautiful. ^_^