After years of insufficient fines and lax enforcement, the Department of Buildings (under public pressure) has begun to do their jobs. And they’re having an impact. Since earlier this year there’s been a noticeable decrease in illegal banner ads on constructions sheds and scaffolding. Now, The New York Department of Buildings is going into “phase two” of their campaign against illegal advertising – signs on building walls.
These vinyl “wallscapes” are inexpensive compared to the physical construction required for billboards. They can skirt zoning laws for billboards, and can be placed in dense areas where billboards won’t work. I’ll let an industry insider explain:
Wallscapes provide a striking alternative to the traditional billboard. In a city crowded with tall buildings, pedestrians and drivers alike will be much more likely to get your message if it is hanging from the most prominent buildings in the city. Wallscapes afford advertisers a unique opportunity to create a distinct and unique advertisement specifically for the medium.source
That all sounds great if you’re one of the few who benefit from promoting corporate products in major cities, but for those who live in them, the benefits of obscuring architecture with flashy persuasive messages isn’t as clear. Oh, and by the way, there are laws that prevent covering every space with advertising. So help those laws be enforced – if you see an obnoxious vinyl wallscape in a residential NYC neighborhood, give the Sign Enforcement Unit a hand and call 311.