Should replacing advertising billboards with something else be illegal? Would I be considered a criminal if I decided to change them into art? Wanted to add posters that raise political/local issues? Or, simply felt like leaving the page blank? I mean, when did we actually sign up for this constant “visual pollution”?
I don’t remember ever doing that.
“Advertising shits in your head”
I came across the pocket size book “Advertising shits in your head” when reading Rob Hopkins review of it on his blog. The book is about advertisement – what it does to our minds, our culture and our planet.
But, what’s so bad with advertisement? Why are messages on pieces of paper detrimental to us?
I think Rob Hopkins put it nicely. He wrote that advertisement harms us because it is “instilling us with extrinsic values”. “Those values that reinforce conformity and a focus on achievement, power, financial success and image”.
Think about it: wouldn’t it be nicer to live in a society where we would instead be encouraged to keep and develop our intrinsic values? “Those founded on affiliation, self-acceptance, community feeling, benevolence and universalism”.
Not only that, I think advertisement also harms us because it adds stimulation to our already overstimulated environment (which goes back to the point I made in one of the posts I wrote last week).
A few places have made the decision to ban public advertisement and instead develop areas for public expression (Sao Paulo in 2007 and Grenoble, France in 2015). I find that extremely cool and wish more places would follow suit.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe this will happen everywhere. I like “Advertising shits in your head” because it provides a way to fight back. Possibilities to use creativity as a vehicle for social change. The book even has an illustrated guide called ‘How to hack into bus stop advertising spaces’.