Urban Fold

Ads Cleaned Into Streets: 'Reverse Grafitti'?

Planetizen's Nate Berg reports on advertisers in Los Angeles using steam cleaners to put corporate logos into the grimy sidewalk. Advertisers claim, "If anything, we've improved public property. We've cleaned up streets that were normally filthy."

"It's a clever way to get attention: pressure-wash through the scum of the sidewalk to erase an outlined message into the dirt about clean-burning cars. But, according to city officials, it's also an explicitly out-of-place form of advertising in a city crowded with a forest of illegal billboards and illegal supergraphics. And this one uses the public right of way, installed without the city's knowledge or approval.

"There's no way to get a permit for something like that," says Tonya Durrell from the Public Affairs Office at the city's Department of Public Works, the agency in charge of building and maintaining city facilities and infrastructure."

Full Story: Urine the Money With L.A. Sidewalk Ads

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