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A world without outdoor advertising

Written By:admin

Sao Paulo, Brazil passed the “Clean City Law” in 2006, which would disintegrate billboards, posters and bus ads. Gilberto Kasssab, mayor of the city, described billboards as “visual pollution,” and he found them as a nuisance.

City authorities of Sao Paulo were ordered to remove all signage within the city, even business signage had to go. Business owners were certain that the ban would ruin them, but they were entirely wrong. Businesses within the city were very pleased with the ban- it had forced them to reevaluate and improve their marketing tactics. Each business was able to develop their own way to promote their products and brands on the streets instead of relying on outdoor advertising. Six years later, many citizens are quite pleased without the advertising and are able to appreciate the city’s beauty.

My question to you is: do you think our society would be able to pass a “Clean Law” and live without outdoor advertisements such as Sao Paulo did?

Estimates say that some Americans now look at up to 4,000 advertisements in one day. Consumers are reacting negatively to the marketing blitz and block out all of the noise because they simply cannot absorb that much information. This challenges advertisers to create work that will entertain and engage the consumer. In turn, these ads that may do the complete opposite- actually enabling the consumer to block them out. Outdoor advertising seems to be a vicious cycle that overwhelms everybody involved.


Times Square

Times Square


Sao Paulo is the largest metropolis in the Southern Hemisphere with about 12 million residents and the 7th-most-populous city in the world. It is proof big cities don’t need to plaster ads everywhere to exist, though you’d never know it looking at Times Square. This city’s success is proof that we can survive without the outdoor advertising clutter. Residents can live within beauty, not clutter, and live in a less-overwhelming world. Advertisers could focus on the most effective marketing tactics today, such as social media marketing and viral campaigns. Consumers already block out the noise of billboards and signage outdoors, so why not de-clutter and stick to the advertising tactics that actually catch their attention while living in a much simpler world?

Jefferson, Cord. A Happy Flourishing City With No Advertising. December 22, 2011.
Johnson, Caitlin. Cutting Through Advertising Clutter. February 11, 2009.



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