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The Constant Creep of Advertising

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, May 16, 2008, at 03:17PM
Sidewalk Advertising Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Sidewalk advertising for FedexKinkos, on the median sidewalk at a Grand Avenue crossing.

Advertising is in the news these days. Yesterday Steve Hymon reported in the Times on backlash against high tech ads in subway tunnels. Not too long before that the story was digital billboards along the 10 and illegal supergraphics on the westside.

Downtown, the advertising mode-de-jour seems to be of the sidewalk variety. For months now these little square ads have shown up stuck to Downtown sidewalks, often on the corner access ramp.

These sidewalk decals aren't a new concept. This NY Times Opinion piece from 2002 asks that "Out of respect for the urban environment and the law, companies should not try to turn the city's sidewalks into free, horizontal billboards to promote their products."

In a city with thousands of billboards lacking permits, it seems quite likely that there simply isn't the enforcement to provide any deterrent for advertisers.


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