When The Law Prohibits Advertising
Billboards are one of the most traditional forms of advertising. Over the decades, of course, their shape, technology, and size have changed. Today, billboards are very often replaced by LED screens. However, their presence had a huge impact on public space. Over time, advertising space has increased. There were more and more billboards and the cities started to become big advertising carriers. Architecture suffered from this very often. It also affected the views, landscapes and the beauty of nature. In such cases, the authorities sometimes stand in front of the advertisement.
Murals can be considered as the first billboards. Today, they are created as works of art and tourist attractions. However, billboards are still in good shape. Very often these are no longer posters of schematic size. Advertisements can occupy the space of several dozen floors or even completely cover a given building. Such behavior of owners of advertising agencies has led to a situation in which more and more countries have introduced regulations on the use of public space for advertising purposes. This has improved the aesthetics of cities.
On the other hand, there are places that cannot be imagined without advertising, such as Times Square or Picadilly Circus. In such locations, advertising media have become a permanent part of urban space.
However, there are places in the world that categorically prohibit the existence of advertising billboards. These include 4 states in the USA (Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, and Alaska). Federal governments made these decisions many years ago. Hawaii banned advertising billboards almost a century ago. The decision to do so is justified by the destruction of the natural environment and the difficulty in enjoying the views.
In recent years, the most restrictive regulations have appeared in Brazil. Mayor Sao Paulo ordered the disassembly of all advertising media in the city and established rules for the placement of advertising in such a way as not to interfere with the values of public space. Despite protests from the owners of advertising agencies, the law was a success and over 70% of the city’s residents were satisfied with its implementation.
Such a high rate of approval for such an initiative shows that people are tired of advertising and dissatisfied with its presence in every place. Everything should be in moderation, while arbitrary and ill-considered placement of huge banners has harmed the advertising industry in the first place.
Because every entrepreneur who wants to appear in the advertising market should invest in the promotion of his product or service. However, if advertising is to be effective, it should be done in a different way than before. Otherwise, the funds allocated to the advertising campaign may be lost.
Advertising in urban space will probably not go down in history soon, despite the laws and dissatisfaction of ordinary citizens. However, taking initiatives to dismantle media is a signal to the advertising industry that this is not the direction of the future.