Journal

The nasty creep of visual pollution.

Advertising agencies seem to be pushing their marketing strategies into every nook and cranny of our daily experiences.

For the last few days there has been a billboard truck parked on a busy corner not far from where we live. Whist I understand the business model and can tolerate these things driving around on the roads, the practice of parking them in prime locations as a static billboard really pushes my buttons.

I was pretty sure that the city where I lived prohibited such visual pollution, and a quick search of the inter-webs found this on wikipedia.

Billboards are largely absent in Australia’s capital city, Canberra, due to a 1937 ordinance which prohibited unauthorised signs on Commonwealth land. In 2017, the Australian Capital Territory considered relaxing this law to allow more outdoor advertising. An Inquiry into billboards received a record 166 submissions, with only 6 respondents supporting allowing more advertising in the Territory. The other submissions supported the current laws, or pointed to shortcomings and loopholes of the current laws, such as the allowance of mobile billboards, bus wrap advertising and political campaign signs, as well a failure to enforce existing laws. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billboard

Advertising has it’s place. But I think it is incredibly important that we demand agency to be able to moderate (by limiting use of our electronic devices for example) or stop (as in having advertising-free personal/community environments) this constant cognitive noise when and if we choose to.

I don’t want advertising like this in my residential area.
I don’t want it in front of my local schools.

And now this particular high-traffic primo location has been targeted, others are sure to follow.

The whole magic trick in advertising is to convince you that your life is in a state of lack. To create a lucrative ( for them) margin of discontent between what you have and what you want:
Consuming product is the sure way to happiness and self-actualization. Yup.

In what is probably an equally unhealthy response, all this particular truck makes me want to do is break in, hotwire it and relocate it to the residential driveway of the CEO of this company. At 2 am.

Instead, and for what its worth, I sent him an email politely ( but not too politely) voicing my issues.

ActewAGL you might want to reconsider your marketing strategy.

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