Sao Paulo Purges Ads. No, We're Not Kidding

sao_paolo_billboard.jpg

Here's a billboard we haven't seen before.

"Imagine a modern metropolis with no outdoor advertising: no billboards, no flashing neon signs, no electronic panels with messages crawling along the bottom.

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."

City officials in Sao Paulo, Brazil just passed a law that may see the end of ads in public display. Billboardom tips us off, but the above quote comes from the International Herald Tribune.

"I think this city is going to become a sadder, duller place," says Dalton Silvano, an ad guy who cast the one dissenting civil vote. "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."

For better or worse we agree, but we're also curious about two things:

* How will city officials implement the transition of an ad-less city?
* What happens to an urban society that abruptly loses its commercial-driven stories?

Our guess: Celebration happens, that's what. Ad-free, strangely sterile Celebration. And we're not talking about the kind of celebration with the fancy hats and party favours.

Written by Angela Natividad    Comments (25)     File: Policy, Social, Strange, Trends and Culture     Apr-20-07  
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Comments

This is what they thought it would look beforehand, check out the YouTube movie by the anit-advertising lobby

Posted by: hans-peter akkerman on April 20, 2007 07:30 AM

This is what they thought it would look beforehand, check out the YouTube movie by the anti-advertising lobby

Posted by: hans-peter akkerman on April 20, 2007 07:30 AM

http://www.samwarnaars.com/2007/04/15/billboard-ban-in-sao-paulo/

Posted by: hans-peter akkerman on April 20, 2007 07:34 AM

Hi Angela,

The question here, and anywhere, is the same: money.

Sao Paulo is one of the biggest cities in the world that still don�t have a urban furniture contract with one of the giants of the sector (Clear Channel, JCDecaux or Cemusa)

This year, the city administration will invite them and order companies to explore the advertising in public areas. Today we have 2000 public equipments with ads in the city. They want to install 14.000.

In order to increase the value of the offers, they forbidden any kind of media in private places in the city. Almost 20 thousands workers will loose their jobs and hundreds of companies are fighting in the justice, trying to survive, but the damages are irreversible.

Regards

Sergio Viriato

Posted by: Sergio Viriato on April 20, 2007 07:41 AM

As an advertising and marketing guy who has also worked in the outdoor media field, I have to say that eliminating even ALL the billboards and outdoor advertising is a very good place to start. Most of it creeps out of hand, accomplishes almost nothing of value and overwhelming adds to the noise and clutter that devalues the quality of life. Saying that it costs jobs is not a good excuse. Fighting drugs costs "jobs" as well. We still do it because it's the right thing to do and valuable to the community.

Posted by: Michael Martin on April 20, 2007 01:18 PM

Not exactly a novel idea.....has anyone ever visited the state of Vermont? Lovely, bucolic, rolling hillsides, and nary a billboard in sight. They're illegal. And the state continues to be lovely and bucolic, sans "visual pollution".

Posted by: Klusk on April 20, 2007 01:26 PM

Not exactly a novel idea.....has anyone ever visited the state of Vermont? Lovely, bucolic, rolling hillsides, and nary a billboard in sight. They're illegal. And the state continues to be lovely and bucolic, sans "visual pollution".

Posted by: Klusk on April 20, 2007 01:27 PM

And with the plethora of scam ads produced in Brazil, they'll stll "win" their share of major awards.

Posted by: Bob on April 20, 2007 02:10 PM

Besides extinguishing part of the media industry, I wonder if our mayor can see how decayed and ugly São Paulo really is now. Or has always been, btw.

Posted by: Keid S. on April 20, 2007 02:36 PM

Forget Sao Paulo, can we eliminate them in PA? There’s one like every 500 feet.

Posted by: makethelogobigger on April 20, 2007 03:43 PM

Angela...
Nothing wrong with a ban on billboards in Sao Paulo... But could we also have a ban on Sao Paulo English language billboards that never actually appeared in Sao Paulo, but seem to pop up regularly in all the award shows, not to mention all the fucking time in Lurtzers pathetic "Archive" magazine. Remember how it used to be tattoo parlors and Chinese take-aways in Minneapolis before Fallon grew up and became just another BDA? What's next... Mongolian CGC?
But hey, Angela, you're doing a great job!
Cheers/George

Posted by: George Parker on April 20, 2007 04:12 PM

Hawaii is billboard free. More than that, the Outdoor Circle makes sure businesses keep their signs small. It all started out of concern for the iconic Diamond Head crater. Someone had a nightmare visions of billboards all over the crater and started a fight to banish outdoor advertising.

It should be no shock that AdWalls started in Hawaii. We can have all the ads we want in spaces not visible from outside.

Posted by: pat smith on April 20, 2007 05:02 PM

They won´t be able to pull this off. One joke Brazilians make about themselves is that the motto on their flag "Order and Progress" represents the two things the country doesn't have. Sao Paolo is much bigger than 11 million people, it´s closer to 20 million all in. It´s a monster, and as chaotic as any place on earth. More than likely even if the law withstands legal challenges, the authorities will never be able to enforce it.

Posted by: alphabetsoup on April 21, 2007 12:29 PM

Amazing given the prevalence of sign polution in most South & Central American cities. Billboards are not necessarily out of place in some urban environments. However, outside of urban boundaries they invariably detract from the visual landscape.

Posted by: Closets on April 22, 2007 12:33 PM

Parker, quando tu aprender a ler em portugues os brasileiros mandam as campanhas premiadas em portugues. Pode ser?

[]'s

Posted by: Henrique on April 23, 2007 08:23 AM

Henrique
I guess a Portuguese language letter on an English language blog makes as much sense as an English language ad in a Portuguese speaking country.
Cheers/George

Posted by: George Parker on April 23, 2007 09:01 AM

Try to understand now, George: When you people learn to speak portuguese, we'll be able to send ads to the the festivals in english, ok?

Posted by: Joselito on April 23, 2007 09:19 AM

Joselito
Good point... The problem with English speakers - Particularly Americans and British - is that they expect everyone in the world to speak it. Or, be able to understand it if they speak slowly and very loud.
Cheers/George

Posted by: George Parker on April 23, 2007 09:27 AM

George, grow up and be more creative then you are. Be a winner like us.

Cannes Lions is soon...I hope see you in the short list. Good luck!!

\0/

Posted by: Flanders on April 23, 2007 04:01 PM

Sao Paulo ain't a beaut. It ain't perfect either. But it sure beats a lot of dull towns when it comes to advertising. The shift from big outdoors and uncontrolled advertising has brought back the advertising professional to the scene and the skill to do more with less. Advertising in Sao Paulo is quick and swift as life on the edge of town. Reactions are poppig up right now. Just sit back and see.

Posted by: tulio fagim on April 23, 2007 05:18 PM

Hey Flanders...
I already have four Lions... Two Gold and two Silver, plus a Gold EFFIe and eleven Clios, including one in the International Hall of Fame. So I'll leave the rest to you.
Cheers/George

Posted by: George Parker on April 23, 2007 06:36 PM

I can assure: SP is better now with no advertising.

From a SP citizen.

Posted by: Marcelo on April 23, 2007 08:18 PM

that is fukcing brilliant

Posted by: el carrito on June 16, 2007 03:09 AM

that is fukcing brilliant

Posted by: el carrito on June 16, 2007 03:11 AM

that is f---ing brilliant

Posted by: el carrito on June 16, 2007 03:13 AM

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