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Next Big Trend: Ads on the Sidewalk?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2009, at 07:23PM
Audi Chalk Ad Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Chalk ads promoting Audi's clean diesel on Figueroa, between 9th and Olympic.

While the city is hard at work crafting new rules to govern signage and billboards, nothing in the new code would regulate these ads that showed up on Figueroa street this week. Audi's promoting its new clean diesels, and doing it with stencils on Downtown sidewalks.

A few summers ago, there was a spate of sidewalk stickers around Downtown promoting various summer blockbusters. The city says the stickers are illegal, but it didn't notice them in time to do anything about them.

While certainly not a brand new concept, will sidewalk chalk be the next big trend in urban advertising? More importantly, will the city choose to do anything about it?

Washington DC fined Verizon $1050 for sidewalk chalk ads in 2006. It's unclear whether L.A. rules would provide a similar structure for enforcement.

Thursday (9am): As pointed out in the comments, these are actually ads made through selective cleaning of the sidewalk. That makes a lot more sense than our original reporting of chalk, given the "clean our streets" message.


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