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