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Advertising is a wart...

Discussion in 'Third Rail' started by Smart, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Smart

    Smart Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 14, 2000 Messages: 17,017 Likes Received: 177
    AKA My Grandma rocks the stations

    Activists Target Paris Subway Ads

    Associated Press Writer
    Suzanne, prim with neat snowy hair, gray anorak and white shirt fastened at the collar with a blue brooch, glanced furtively up and down the subway platform bustling with out-on-the-towners.

    Slowly, the station emptied; the coast was clear. Spinning on her heels, a mischievous glint in her soft blue eyes, she whipped a red wax crayon from her handbag and, wielding it sword-like, scrawled her fury across a billboard advertising home appliances.


    Pow! Thus another blow was struck in a fight raging in France against advertising. The attackers are a small but determined band of campaigners for whom ads are a plague. Their battlegrounds are the tunnels and platforms of Paris' subway, and bus stops in other towns. Their targets: companies that make capitalism tick.

    Organizing over the Internet, hunted by the forces of order, these urban guerrillas are focusing debate on advertising's power. Is there too much of it? Should we fight back?

    For Suzanne, a 63-year-old political militant since she first threw stones at police during student riots that shook France in 1968, the answer to those questions is "Yes."

    "Capitalism needs consumerism to survive," she said. "If we get rid of advertising, we get rid of consumerism and that will get rid of capitalism."

    Mmmmmm. It's hard to envisage the foundations of the global economy toppling anytime soon. But the anti-advertising movement has provoked a counterattack from French advertising giant Publicis and Paris' public transportation operator, the RATP.

    Joining forces, the two firms are taking 62 anti-ad militants to court on Wednesday, seeking $1.2 million in damages for destruction wreaked and scrawled on billboards.

    Suzanne is not among those 62, but the threat of fines scares her enough she won't give her surname. Nevertheless, she campaigns on, riding the Metro with a band of like-minded teenagers one recent Saturday, trailing destruction in their wake.

    Pssssshhhhhh. Louis, 16, worked quickly but efficiently with a can of black spray paint. "ADVERTISING NUMBS YOU" read his still-dripping slogan on a billboard for the movie "Shrek 2."

    "Walt Disney. Hollywood. Big budget. No good," he muttered by way of explanation before sprinting down the platform to attack another billboard before a train pulled in.

    "It's joy," he said, describing how it felt to spray. "It's a real pleasure to finally be able to resist."

    France's anti-advertising campaign to some extent dovetails with a larger movement against globalization that regularly protests meetings of the World Trade Organization, the Group of Eight industrial nations and other "capitalist" bodies.

    One of Suzanne's band, Christophe, 17, said he traveled to the Alps last June to protest a G-8 summit.

    Suzanne's group changed subway lines every three or four stations to avoid being spotted by security agents. At each station, they first followed other passengers heading toward the exits. Then, having determined no guards were lurking in the tunnels, they doubled back to set to work spraying and tearing down ads.

    In all, militants damaged 3,500 posters that Saturday, says Metrobus, a Publicis subsidiary that sells the subway's advertising space. It says it has to compensate firms whose ads are targeted.

    Suzanne's group alone attacked more than 50 billboards in at least eight stations. At one stop, they happened across other campaigners slapping up stickers saying, "Every day I wash my brain with advertising," mocking laundry detergent ads.

    "Advertising is a one-way message that amounts to harassment," said Nicolas, a teacher in his 30s. "We should have the right to refuse it."

    The RATP, which transports millions of Parisians each day, is not happy to find itself on the front line. It believes Paris' public is on its side, citing a survey it commissioned last month in which 73 percent of 800 people questioned said advertisements make their public transport journeys "more agreeable and less monotonous" and 75 percent said they disapproved of the anti-ad militants.

    "These people are on the wrong side of the law. We can't let this type of action go unchallenged," said RATP spokesman Fabien Contino.

    The RATP says the $74 million to $86 million it earns each year from selling advertising space could buy 300 new buses. Contino said ticket prices would rise by 5 percent if there were no ad, an increase equal to just seven cents.

    But in a small victory for the campaigners, the RATP on Monday and for the next 10 days freed up space on 47 billboards in 24 stations for people to write what they like.

    "The RATP offers this space of free expression," said a company notice on one white board at the Strasbourg-Saint Denis station. "Thank you for respecting this initiative by reacting only on this poster and by avoiding all injurious and discriminatory comments."
  2. ThePoet

    ThePoet Junior Member

    Joined: Nov 25, 2003 Messages: 135 Likes Received: 0
    DAMN FRENCHIES, HAHAHA, nice smart, damn right there is a need for more poetry:lol: Anyway, what up dude, where did you find that article? Fuck advertising, and i think i finally know what those billboards whit the words without the K are for, they are for the cable company Knowlogy , i saw one of their billboards with their name with a slogan "the one with the silent K". Peace
  3. ODS-1

    ODS-1 Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 21, 2003 Messages: 3,575 Likes Received: 0
  4. When

    When 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: May 4, 2000 Messages: 10,294 Likes Received: 3
    arent these folk just advertising anti-advertisement?
  5. ODS-1

    ODS-1 Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 21, 2003 Messages: 3,575 Likes Received: 0
    No. Advertising would be trying to influence someone to buy something or vote for someone or something. They aren't relly trying to convince someone to buy anything.
  6. Mr Milk85

    Mr Milk85 New Jack

    Joined: Feb 3, 2004 Messages: 25 Likes Received: 0
    Their motivations (like writers') are far purer than the companies that use the billboards to sell products. They're motivated purely by profit...oh and satan, satan motivates them too...
  7. When

    When 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: May 4, 2000 Messages: 10,294 Likes Received: 3
    but they are convincing people NOT to buy products or use services
    thereby advertising

    example: the 'truth' anti smoking ads
  8. When

    When 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: May 4, 2000 Messages: 10,294 Likes Received: 3
    the anti advertisers are just jealous of the money big companies bring in

    i would love to see an anti advertiser person
    live purely off companies and services that dont advertise
  9. Smart

    Smart Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 14, 2000 Messages: 17,017 Likes Received: 177
    Check out the big brain on When!
  10. When

    When 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: May 4, 2000 Messages: 10,294 Likes Received: 3
    well i did win the second grade spelling bee... almost

  11. Smart

    Smart Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 14, 2000 Messages: 17,017 Likes Received: 177
    Hey, I wasn't dissin... you're on point...

    this whole thing is more of a property issue than an advertising thing, both sides have definate views over how the space needs to be used but both are using the same space to actively market their ideas to the public...

    AND, one side seems to want to muddy the water by being 'anti-ads' but their really 'pro-something else'... which is maybe communism? Definately anti-capitalist but... I can't tell with the French...

    Best quote justifying advertising against advertising:
    "Advertising is a one-way message that amounts to harassment," said Nicolas, a teacher in his 30s. "We should have the right to refuse it."
  12. imported_b0b

    imported_b0b Guest

    You are so way off the mark it hurts.
  13. When

    When 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: May 4, 2000 Messages: 10,294 Likes Received: 3
    you know what i probably am

    obviously this anti movement amounts to something deeper
    than these people not wanting to look at advertisements

    what it is, im not sure

    they must know that they arent going to change the way the world turns

    im drinking a budweiser right now and im enjoying it,
    god damn that advertising
  14. coldmilkcup

    coldmilkcup Member

    Joined: Jun 10, 2002 Messages: 669 Likes Received: 0
    graffiti in general is advertising, marketing even. putting up your word [brand] in the most high profile spots, trying to get bigger and more colourful than everyone else, trying to wipe out the competition. meh, i'm tired.
  15. rinse

    rinse Member

    Joined: Dec 28, 2003 Messages: 703 Likes Received: 0
    cold-cup got a good point... but a writer isnt profitting off of advertising his or her name except maybe in fame which doesnt directly line the pockets. unless your purchasing a haze tee-shirt or an unlearn poster. if a writer is selling goods and using his or her trade to promote those goods than what is the difference between the writer and the sales marketing team at nike? its all capitalism but no one hates on the writer because the writer is the underdog and he is not renting advertising spots, he is taking them (and in effect creating a "disservce" to his community through vandalism). but as the writers product line grows so does his need for outside help and corprate systems. sure shepards obey giant campaign is refreshing but when it comes down to it, he is still selling something. dont get me wrong i respect all of the work and artists i have mentioned, i was just unearthing examples to support my point. even though people dis capitalism, consumerism, or advertising; at the same time they buy into it. which is dirtier? using anti-advertising techniques to aquire money or making money the old fasioned way and pay for 30 second comercial time slot?