Can't resist passing this little ditty along. Finally had a chance to open my newsletters today and Fridah's Online Spin from Max Kalehoff was quite interesting.
The jist of it is... the city of São Paulo, Brazil has banned outdoor advertising. In all public places. Matt's information comes from the International Herald Tribune which said, "Come the new year, this city of 11 million, overwhelmed by what the authorities call visual pollution, plans to press the "delete all" button and offer its residents unimpeded views of their surroundings."
How would you feel about that? I'm picturing clear blue sky in place of billboards, along the expressway. I'm picturing clean buildings without a lot of neon signs or flashing lights in the windows, downtown. I'm picturing a nice stroll down Park Ave locally, with nothing invading my senses except soft breezes, smiles from passers-by, and the only advertsing the logo on specific store fronts.
I'm liking it! As Matt says, imagine Times Square without all the advertising clutter.
Check out this Flickr slideshow from Tony de Marco...showing the difference in the landscape at São Paulo. It's beauty shown off in wondrous simplicity. WOW!
Matt wimps out toward the end of his article, saying, "Now, let me be clear: I'm not suggesting that any of our U.S. cities take such drastic measures. I'm a strong believer in advertising, including its positive contribution to democracy and capitalism. Some venues are attractive precisely because of advertising. But it's probably not a bad idea for the advertising industry to voluntarily rein in its own addiction, and begin instituting boundaries, particularly in public places."
Oh please... "positive contribution to democracy and capitalism?" Ok...freedome of speech and all that. But, America has run amuck on this - advertising is now a part of pregnant bellies and people's foreheads... it's only a matter of time before some enterprising young woman offers her buttocks up - willing to parade around in a thong to market something.
I'd happily get rid of it all. We have direct mail, magazines, TV, newspapers, movies, and the Internet. Why do we need to throw brand images and Minority Report advertising all over our public places?