Intelligence-Challenged Outdoor Company Mounts Poster Backwards


There seems to be rampant idiocy running through the outdoor industry these days as indicated by this image sent to us by our blunder-busting brand bluecoat, Bucky Turco. Following Viacom's placement of a McDonald's billboard directly below that of a childhood obesity board (though one person says it could be a PhotoShop job), Van Wagner Outdoor, in New York City, has placed a poster, at 1st and 19th, backwards on a phone kiosk. Perhaps intending to reach passing drivers as they look in their rear view mirror, the poster is an ad for Tim Burton's new Corpse Bride movie.

UPDATE: Van Wagner says, in Comments, it was an act of vandalism, writing, "we know it was vandalism because when OUR guys (yes, a Van Wagner employee) went to rectify the problem, they came to find all the bolts and the diffuser had been stolen from the unit. It's a ridiculous act of vandalism, as most are, but it was vandalism nonetheless." That said, debate continues to rage in Comments as to the validity of this explanation.

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (13)     File: Outdoor     Sep-19-05  
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Remember that IQ test you took back in elementary school? -- yeah well -- If you look on the back of most posters, you will not see the image reversed. This looks more like a printing error than a placement error.

Posted by: anon on September 19, 2005 04:18 PM

Given the crappy HTML on this page (always gives Firefox a little meltdown, background graphics floating on top of page content, etc.) y'all might not want to be laughing at other people's production errors.

Posted by: John on September 19, 2005 04:49 PM

John, are you talking about Adrants? I use Firefox and don't see any of those problems?

Posted by: Steve Hall on September 19, 2005 08:57 PM

near my office, there's one of the obnoxious dove billboards with the tubby chick beside a billboard for lean cuisine. i'm not kidding.

Posted by: HighJive on September 19, 2005 11:02 PM

Interesting that every one sheet I have seen has the reverse image (shown in the post) on the back side. Not so much a printing error as a posting error.

Posted by: Ryan on September 20, 2005 03:32 PM

i'm taking great pleasure in the fact that you have the audacity to call Van Wagner "intelligence-challenged" and say there is "rampant idiocy" running through the industry and you have a TYPO IN YOUR EDITORIAL. Who's the idiot now?

Posted by: lynne on September 20, 2005 06:47 PM

i see this morning you have corrected the typo in this article. if you go back to 1st Ave & 19th Street you'll see the creative corrected on the kiosk there as well - which, by the way, was the work of vandals. YOUR error was the work of one of your writers and their editor...

Posted by: lynne on September 21, 2005 11:29 AM

Van Wag employee eh?

Posted by: Haha on September 21, 2005 12:56 PM

Lynne, how do you know it was the work of vandals? And for the record, an extra "a" in a story on a website no one outside of advertising has ever heard of is hardly a comparable offense to a board seen by anyone in New York City near that poster:-)

Posted by: Steve Hall on September 21, 2005 01:00 PM

steve, i think an editing error in a story in which you call hard working posting guys 'idiots' is a considerable offense. you should really strive for perfection if you're going to dole out criticism publicly - even if just to our little industry. we know it was vandalism because when OUR guys (yes, a Van Wagner employee) went to recitify the problem, they came to find all the bolts and the diffuser had been stolen from the unit. it's a ridiculous act of vandalism, as most are, but it was vandalism nontheless.

Posted by: lynne on September 22, 2005 10:29 AM


Sorry I have to interject here. Vandals do not strike ads like this and just turn them around. That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. I know vandals personally who take out these ads but for the most part they augment them, enhance, or change them out completly. I have never heard of someone popping this open just to reverse the image. And you make it sound like this has never happenned before. Sorry but I doubt your version.

Posted by: Bucky da ANIMAL on September 22, 2005 12:35 PM

Bucky "da" Animal,

i agree. it's beyond absurd. but you give people way too much credit for their innovation in vandalism. perhaps the vandals YOU know are all GIFTED, CREATIVE vandals.

true story: a few years ago this particular thing had been happening a bit -- our guys would post, a day or two later they would go back to maintain the unit, and they would find it was flipped around or upside down. we figured it was our competitors being childish - or a sad writer of ridiculous things out looking for a pathetic story. then one day - they CAUGHT the guy doing it. he was obviously a little 'touched', but had scruples enough to say he would only stop if we gave him an actual posting job.

this is new york city, BUCKY. people do bizarre, inexplicable things all the time. you must be a visitor from somewhere else where everyone does things for perfectly SANE reasons. this will be my last visit to Adrant, so you can respond with all the incredulity you want - i'll never see it. i've said, and defended my guys, enough....

Posted by: lynne on September 22, 2005 05:00 PM

Well then I will answer for my own selfish reasons. First of all I was born and bred in NY, let's just get that one out of the way quick. Second you blatant lied. I live in the neighborhood and they didn't fix this they replaced it with a Napster poster. And I didn't see any evidence of vandalism. So please go defend your morons that Steve aptly described somewhere else, you won't be missed, laf.

Posted by: Bucky da ANIMAL on September 22, 2005 08:10 PM

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