Verizon Fined For DC Graffiti Campaign

More guerrilla marketing via public vandalism: Verizon has been fined $1050 for spraying graffiti on Washington D.C. sidewalks advertising the Yellow Pages.

To be fair to Verizon, the ads were sprayed in water-soluble chalk, so this isn’t really permanent defacement we’re talking about. In fact, it sounds pretty innocuous, given Sony’s tendency to hire street punks to spray paint ads on private property. Nevertheless, Verizon was fined $150 per act of vandalism, raking up seven fines total.

And we’re glad — non-permanent and innocuous as it may be, we don’t want to live in a world where even graffiti is fucking corporate shilling. Marketers — can we leave street art as the last bastion for the disestablishmentarianist, please? When I’m scrawling my ex-girlfriend’s number above men’s room urinals, I don’t want to have to vie for ad space with a multi-million dollar Verizon campaign.

Verizon Fined by District for Chalk-on-Sidewalk Advertising [Washington Post] (Thanks, Adfreak!)


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  1. The Unicorn says:

    IBM did a similar guerrilla “Peace Love Linux” campaign at least five years ago in Chicago, only they didn’t use chalk. They were *supposed* to, apparently, but instead used good ol’ fashioned spraypaint.

    So now, on random sidewalks near the University of Chicago campus, there are still these three circles: a peace sign, a heart, and a little penguin face.

    IBM got in big trouble for it, and their excuse was that the people using the stencils messed up and used the wrong medium. But considering that spray paint can’t even be bought in the city of Chicago, I think they did it on purpose.

    I guess they just figured that U of C students were dorky enough that they woudln’t mind permanent Linux-related graffiti.