The poster industry has been battling for years against being seen
as the, ahem, grubbier side of media (not easy). In recent years, the
industry has got rid of a lot of those peeling billboards under railway
bridges and learned about marketing. The odd Armani suit nestles among
the polyester these days.
The industry’s conference in Madrid last week was to be the cherry on
the cake of this new, improved industry. And it was - slick,
professional, even interesting.
Then came the gala dinner.
Delegates were shipped out to a Spanish version of Butlin’s for a
knees-up. Imagine a cabaret complete with audience participation of the
heads-shoulders-knees-and-toes variety. For the more sophisticated
members of the audience, the poster industry appeared to have suddenly
retreated to the 70s.