Outdoor alert on poster defacers

Britain’s poster contractors are on alert over possible guerrilla action against their sites, which is being encouraged by anarchists via the Internet.

Britain’s poster contractors are on alert over possible guerrilla

action against their sites, which is being encouraged by anarchists via

the Internet.



Adbusters, a Canada-based anti-consumerist organisation, tells Internet

surfers they should ’liberate’ posters and advises them on how to do it

using a ’billboard buster’ made from wood, string and copper pipe.



The Website ad suggests models featured on poster ads can be turned into

’zombies’ with a couple of bursts from a spray can and that Hitler

moustaches should be drawn on the faces of anyone purported to hold

’fascist’ views.



Now the Advertising Association is warning members of the Outdoor

Advertising Association to be on their guard against defacers.



This week, the Adbusters’ action was condemned as ’puerile and childish’

by Lionel Stanbrook, the deputy director- general of the AA.



Adbusters is an arm of the so-called Media Foundation, which describes

itself as a ’media activist organisation counteracting those who would

pollute our physical and mental environments’.



The group has been using increasingly sophisticated techniques in its

efforts to subvert the marketing activities of large companies and

recently offered advice on the Internet on how people could sabotage

focus groups.



Its latest ideas for would-be ’liberationists’ include putting blemishes

on models’ faces to make it appear they are suffering from acne and

allowing red paint to run from models’ mouths like blood. The Adbusters

site states: ’It would suggest an unfashionable trauma, a distasteful

disease or a nasty bite.’



Stanbrook said: ’Although we’re bringing this to poster contractors’

attention, we’ve no evidence that Adbusters is being taken seriously in

the UK. I can’t believe that even the most virulent advertising critic

would condone this approach.’



Anybody caught defacing a poster could face a charge of malicious damage

leading to a fine and possible imprisonment. It is also an offence to

encourage anyone to commit malicious damage.



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