How Valuable Is Our Public Space?

How valuable is our public space to advertisers and marketers? An anonymous agent of the Anti-Advertising Agency made some calls. How much does it currently costs to have street level ads in a city like San Francisco? Here’s some examples.

Market Street Kiosks.
Background: Three sided containing four by six foot poster advertisements. Introduced to San Francisco on the condition that one of the three sides is used for art – handled by the San Francisco Art Commission. Interestingly, advertisers are only interested in the 2 sides that face car traffic.
Cost: between $1367 and $1473 per panel. But with a 16 panel minimum cost ranges from $21,866 to $23,562. This does not include production which could easily be thousands more.

from animalvegetable on flickrWildposting
Background: While seen pasted all over San Francisco’s construction sites, these two by three foot posters are displayed without permits and are illegal. Regardless of the law, the less scrupulous can still pay to have them made and pasted up. Because one hires a contractor, it’s possible to argue plausible deniability if one ever were caught. But most likely that wont happen because the law is so poorly enforced. (Conversely, throw up some graffiti on a wall and see what happens…)
Cost: For a week of wildposting you can get 40-60 posters. Cost (including production) is about $4,250.

Other Factors: Campaign design, testing, and evaluation costs not included. Advertising expenses are tax deductible.

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  1. Bunnypirate says:

    I would be interested in a companion piece to this: what are the punitive costs of defacing these ads?

    I’m particularly interested in whether there are any penalties to “altering” wildposted ads.

  2. I can speak from some experience on this. Odds are low that anyone would confront you on it, much less cite you for it. I also don’t think a judge would let this go to court without throwing the case out. And last, if it were to go to court, it would be a very embarrassing McLibelesque type scenario both for any company and the city seeing that the companies knowingly break the law and the city is lax in enforcement.

    That said, be smart about it.

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