Friday, April 11, 2008

Corporate Graffiti

Recently there has a been a hype over the removal of the extremely large, can-not-miss, horrendous, in-your-face, monstrosity of ads that have been surfacing up like rabbits throughout our City of Angels.

If many aren't aware, and presumptuously am certain many aren't, these "graffiti tactic" type ads are completely illegal. Yes people - ILLEGAL.

"OMG!! what are you talking about Galo? How can a billboard from a reputable company be illegal?" (in sarcastic tone)

Glad you ask. Well it's simple, their approach is pretty clever. A marketing type company scouts for a space (a building) to "hit up", once found they contact the realtor or owner, persuades them for X amount of dollars to rent or lease the space, generates a large ugly digital print known as "supergraphics" and has them installed, on the building for us to be bombarded with its imagery and be seen every morning while we either drive to work or every evening while we drive home. And just like graffiti, the larger the better and the more up the more seen.

"But Galo, these people are paying for this space! how can it be? and how does that make it illegal?" (in now inquisitve tone)

Well...that's a great question. Let me explain. You see young one, these ads are illegal because they are placed randomly throughout the city without the approval of Board of Building and Safety Commissioners hence without any approval - translation = illegal

Any kind of billboard ad(s) or sign(s) or even murals have to go through a very extensive approval process. The surrounding community plays a significant role as well. They have to be notified! very much so as a filming crew notifying you that they will be filming in your neighborhood. And if that was not enough, the ward councillor also needs to be notified and okay it as well. In addition, there are numerous other forms of approvals to go through through the city.

These companies simply found a new way to "get-up" while going or getting around the sign and ad law act. And it doesn't stop there! oh no no no no - it branches out to those poster type billboards you see on the side of stores or buildings. Those are...Illegal. Posting bills as those seen on construction sites those too are illegal. Even some of the billboards that are on top of some buildings are illegal. The owner just decided to build a billboard space and charge corporations for their ads. Ilelegal illegal illegal.

Very much like a graffiti artist defending their graff as free speech, these companies also defend them as free speech and say city leaders are discriminating against them by forbidding them from posting or installing these "supergraphics". HA! that cracks me up. I wonder what kind of punishment they receive. Similar to one as a graffiti writer? I think not!

All this sounds pretty much like graffiti to me. It has the same undertones, same principal, same tactic, same objective, same approach, same accomplishment. The only difference? one is "corporate" and the other?? well we know what is said.

Graffiti is always cast as an "urban blight" - but peeps, an ad where an almost nude 50 foot man in underwear advertising a cologne that I do not wear is an "urban blight" to me. Why would I want to see that? Do you enjoy it? I am sure most don't and like graffiti is to many a nuisance these corporate ads are a nuisance to many. To me at least.

Anyways - here's a little billboard for corporate America!!

have a great weekend all.

1 comment:

Mark Gomez said...

i wish i would have seen this post while i was teaching this unit on the Renaissance and graff!!!
come on kid! why you holding back valuable resources like this?!?!?

anyways... thanks again for yesterday and we will debrief all together some time soon i hope...
you the man...