With apologies to Martin Niemoller

Posted on April 23rd, 2007

Out-of-home ads

You'll soon see 'em

On a wall

In some museum


The original plan was to create a comic about what old workaholics will one day call the BlackBerry Blackout of '07. I'm sure we all know a CrackBerry addict or two and I think there's something inherently amusing in the image of a disheveled executive, circa hour 14, holding a cardboard sign that reads "WILL SUCK COCK FOR PUSH E-MAIL TECHNOLOGY".

No? Just me?

Either way, it's a moot point. As soon as I read the Adrants article about Sao Paulo's war on visual pollution, including everything from billboards and bus wraps to fliers and neon signs, I knew it was the only possible topic for discussion.*

The arguments in favour of the ban are pretty straightforward (are you really shocked that Brazilians would be preoccupied with beauty?). The arguments against range from the rational ("this is a radical law that damages the rules of a market economy and respect for the rule of law") to the clearly desperate ("neon signs keep people safe at night").

At the risk of crapping where I eat, I'm forced to admit that I'm okay with the recession of ad creep. I mean, Times Square is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Having said that, I'm not sure creepy billboard-skeletons are much of an improvement. It's like gazing upon capitalism's graveyard.

On the subject of crapping where you eat, I'd love to know what McCann Erickson was thinking when it created this:


*I did briefly consider venting my spleen over NBC's copycat-encouraging validation of a murderous asshole, but Jamie didn't even let me finish my sentence on that one.

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