Category Archives: News

Liberated Ads Confront Foreclosure Crisis (via CDC)

January 19, 2012 – San Francisco, California
Liberated Ads Confront Foreclosure Crisis

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) has unveiled a new campaign of bus shelter ads to confront America’s home foreclosure crisis.

During the week of January 16th, the CDC successfully apprehended, rehabilitated and discharged more than one dozen bus shelter advertisements throughout San Francisco, including the intersection of California and Davis Street, one block from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The CDC’s red, white and blue advertisements declare: MORTGAGE IN TROUBLE? OCCUPY THE BANKS along with the website, Produced with the assistance of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the corrected advertisements feature the rooftop of an American home set against clear blue skies with the phrase: Making Home Affordable.

The corrected ads were released shortly prior to January 20th in anticipation of a day-long, nonviolent shut down of San Francisco’s Financial District by Occupy SF. January 20th also marks the one year anniversary of the controversial Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted First Amendment protection to corporate political expenditures. Occupy protestors are demanding a halt to predatory foreclosures and evictions by banks and the end of corporate personhood. They will be taking their demands directly to the offices of banks and corporations in San Francisco to stop business as usual on January 20th.

The rehabilitated advertisements are currently at liberty and seem to have successfully readjusted to public life. However, these ads will remain under surveillance by department staff to prevent recidivism and any potential lapse into prior criminal behavior.

Founded in 1994, the CDC is a private correctional facility that protects the public through the secure management, discipline, and rehabilitation of California’s advertising. The department was initiated by individuals who felt that public correctional facilities were insufficiently managing the state’s most criminal elements and that effective care and treatment would improve under the supervision of a private institution.

For more information on the operations and programs of the CDC, contact the California Department of Corrections Office of Communications at

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This Space Available

“I have never seen such a god damn group of selfish, eager hogs”

–President Lyndon Johnson on the Billboard Industry

Over a year ago I interviewed for this documentary about visual pollution. In my research as an artist over the past 12 years I have learned more than most would ever care to about public space, graffiti laws, the advertising industry, and the ugly underside of marketing. I haven’t seen this film yet, but I’m glad to see the message making it’s way out with voices from within and without the industry.

It premieres at IFC Center in New York next week on November 5th.

About the “This Space Available” Film

“Billboards and commercial messages dominate the public space like never before. Can we reverse this visual pollution? This Space Available looks at diverse activists from the worlds of advertising, street art, and politics. Influenced by the writing of Marc Gobé ( Emotional Branding ), his daughter Gwenaelle directs with tremendous verve in her depiction of New Yorkers and others around the world who want to reclaim the integrity of their cities against an onslaught of visual pollution.”




Steve Lambert talking about an illegal billboard

Jordan Seiler organizing the whitewashing of illegal ads

Jordan Seiler

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Public Ad Campaign: This Space Available – DOC NYC World Premier at the IFC Theater


This Space Available


PublicAdCampaign is proud to announce the world premier of the documentary film This Space Available. This full length feature focuses on the issue of visual pollution in our global community. Intent on creating a critical dialogue on the issue, the film investigates a wide range of perspectives including those of billboard executives, government agencies, and public space activists like myself. While the film will eventually be widely available, DOC NYC will be premiering the film on Saturday November 5th at 7pm at the IFC theater in New York City. There will also be a Q&A after the screening for viewers to question the film makers and a few of the subjects. We hope to see you there.

To purchase tickets for the This Space Available premier at the DOC NYC fest at the IFC theater on 11-05-11, please visit the DOC NYC website [HERE]. Remember there is limited space available so get your tickets now before they are all gone.

The grassroots movement against visual pollution

A documentary film directed by

Gwenaelle Gobe

Executive Producer: Marc Gobe/Emotional Branding

World Premiere at IFC Center/ New York

Saturday November 5th Time: 7:00 PM

Tuesday November 8th Time: 1:15 PM

via Public Ad Campaign: This Space Available – DOC NYC World Premier at the IFC Theater.

Posted in News | Leave a comment Launch Party Oct 15 A user generated, Do-It-Yourself website for projects of protest and creative dissent.


Saturday October 15th from 4pm-7pm (demos start about 5pm)
In the Studio for Urban Projects.
3579 17th street (at Dolores) San Francisco

The launch will feature several demos, including ‘how to make and use wheat paste to put up posters’, a demo from the Center for Tactical Magic, and more!

Destructables is a sort of online anarchist cookbook without the weapons and with a lot more art and humor. The site features user-generated, step-by-step instructions for performing a wide range of public actions, such as: shop-dropping (putting fake products in stores), protest strategies, wheat-pasting, making protest props, interventions, methods of civil disobedience, and many other forms of dissent. The projects range from the practical and tactical to the creative and illegal. We wanted to put these tools and resources into one convenient place. To make a living archive and resource for the art and activist communities where people can share what they’ve learned. The site already includes contributions from high profile groups the Yes Men, Crimethinc, and the Center for Tactical Magic. was made possible through the generous support of Southern Exposure, Di Rosa and through tactical support from Crimethinc, and the Center for Creative Activism. Thanks to the Studio for Urban Projects.

Hope you can stop by!

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Subway HD Screens: Round 6 – Bogota

Pixel Hacking – Decorando la publicidad

If you missed the previous rounds, check em out here:

  1. – Ji Lee
  2. Light Criticism – Anti-Advertising Agency and Graffiti Research Lab
  3. Pixelator – Jason Eppink
  4. Hold Fast Sell Out – Posterchild
  5. Stained Glass – Posterchild

And of course Aram Bartholl had a roll in the lineage.

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Sao Paulo: Before And After

via Ban Billboard Blight.

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Make “Capitalism Work For Me!”

I’m raising funds on a new project. Get involved!

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Fun with Cellophane

Make Sculpture out of those wonderful advert kiosks that Clear Channel has so thoughtfully placed on the sidewalks. They are popping up everywhere and we might as well do something with them. Uppity Bike Commuters would like to share this idea with anyone with access to a roll of Cellophane wrap. Since there is no property damage it’s not illegal as far as we know, but check your local graffiti laws to be sure. One you get running around it, its a lot like a Maypole Dance.

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David Shrigley



A David Shrigley piece just sent to me from my friend Christina Kral.

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Public/Private Partnerships: Will Commercialization Save Our City Parks? | Ban Billboard Blight


A great post over at Ban Billboard Blight about the move to allow advertising in Los Angeles Public Parks.

Playground at Holmby Park (Signs added)


Public/Private partnerships. At last week’s meeting of the L.A. City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, the term kept bobbing like a life preserver grasped for by city agencies at risk of being drowned in a violent tide of red ink. Councilman Bill Rosendahl, speaking of the Recreation and Parks department, said that in the absence of such partnerships “we’re not going to be able to sustain our parks, it’s as simple as that.” The other committee members who spoke–Paul Koretz, Greig Smith, and Chairman Bernard Parks–all nodded assent to Rosendahl’s declaration, apparently feeling no need to examine either its truth or its implications for the city’s future.

That’s too bad, because Rosendahl’s statement amounts to embrace of the idea that a large, modern, wealthy city will have to go hat in hand to corporate boardrooms in order to provide one of the most public and democratic–and many would say, essential–services to its citizens. In the picture painted by the silver tongue of Barry Sanders, the retired corporate lawyer and president of the Recreation and Parks Commission, this means some signs in the parks thanking Wells Fargo and Ralph’s and Taco Bell and whomever else rides to the rescue. “In my view, thanking a sponsor is not blight,” Sanders said. “A closed swimming pool on Monday is blight.”

…read the rest! Public/Private Partnerships: Will Commercialization Save Our City Parks? | Ban Billboard Blight.

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Yep, these cereal boxes light up

via hackaday

“Yep, these cereal boxes light up. They’re using a new branded-technology called eCoupling that provides electricity via induction, which means the shelves have a coil with AC power running through it. The “printed coils” on the boxes allow inventory control and data exchange presumably thanks to a low-power microcontroller. But in the video after the break you can see that the printed lighting on the boxes lets them flash parts of the box art as a way to attract customers’ attention. We’d bet that they’re using electroluminescent materials but we weren’t able to get find specifics on how this is done. We just hope advertisers don’t start rolling noise-makers into their packaging.”

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The LAMPlatoon: Commercial Remixing Puts Ads on Notice

The LAMP (Learning About Multimedia Project) believes that educated consumers are the key to meaningful media reform. In addition to bringing media literacy training to youth, parents and educators throughout New York City, The LAMP recently launched LAMPlatoon, a video project exercising Fair Use rights to talk back to and engage with commercials and media messages we see every day. Check out this most recent LAMPlatoon video as an example:

LAMPlatoon: Kia Hamsters, or Fuzzy Faced Minstrels?

Anyone can join LAMPlatoon by making their own video, and work with The LAMP in building a critical mass of proactive media consumers. Click here for more details on submissions, or email Join us today, and put ads on notice!

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Advertisers Trademark the Phrase “Radical Media”, Targeting Activists



A corporate media group has trademarked the phrase “Radical Media” and has issued a cease and desist letter to activists using it in the title of their conference, which takes place in London later this year.

The advertisers, @Radical Media, have forced organizers to change the title of the gathering to Rebellious Media Conference. The revised conference logo appears above.

Readers are invited to attend a demonstration outside @Radical Media’s London office:

“We make radical media, You make adverts”
Tuesday, 3rd May
5:00pm – 7:00pm (17:00-19:00)
1 Alfred Mews,

by Heals, off Tottenham Court Road.

Facebook Event

via The Groundswell Blog: Advertisers Trademark the Phrase “Radical Media”, Targeting Activists.

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L.A. Council Members Endorse Plan To Sell Advertising In City Parks

Ocean Front Walk in Venice is locally known as The Boardwalk, although it’s all concrete—the only boards in sight belong to distant surfers waiting to catch a wave. That view to the west is free of the intense commercialism of the inland side of the the Boardwalk, with its crowded T-shirt and souvenir shops, but strollers gazing beachward may soon be greeted by a new sight—advertising signs on light poles, benches, trash cans, and restroom walls and doors.

At yesterday’s meeting of the City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents the Venice area, endorsed the kind of plan put forward last year by the non-profit L.A. Parks Foundation to raise money for city parks maintenance and operations by selling space to what was termed “corporate sponsors.” The Venice Beach part of the plan called for 200 signs on an 8-block stretch of the Boardwalk, a total sign area of almost 10,000 square feet, or the equivalent of 15 full-size billboards.

Read the rest: Bring ‘Em On: L.A. Council Members Endorse Plan To Sell Advertising In City Parks | Ban Billboard Blight.

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Report: Advertising’s “mirror” of society is racist

Actors from black, Asian or other ethnic minority groups appeared in only 5% of the almost 35,000 TV ads screened in the UK last year, according to a report.

The report by Clearcast, the body that vets all commercials before they are broadcast, found that TV advertising is “drastically under-representing” the ethnic minority groups. Black, Asian and those of other ethnic minorities account for about 13% of the UK population.

Clearcast’s report, which marks the first in-depth look at the racial makeup of UK television advertising, found that of the total of 34,499 commercials given the green light last year just 1,845, or 5.3%, used actors from a non-white background.

via Only 5% of TV ads feature ethnic minorities | Media |

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