São Paulo – A city without advertisement

More and more metropolis cities fight with pollution. Air pollution, noise pollution… and visual pollution.
The major of São Paulo felt that everything was going out of hands with that and decided to do something about it. His solution might seem drastic for most: He outlawed outdoor advertisement in September 2007. Billboards, shop signs and posters were banned from this town!

After all the billboard have been taken off, the advertisement on delivery truck were painted off the city of São Paulo was visible again – and 70% of the residents in the city appreciated this change.

The people who were more upset about this change were in the advertisement industry – and they had to find out how to adapt.
Advertisement became subtler in the city and buildings became colourful – painted in the colour of the brand itself, without showing a specific logo.

For the small business it was surely a game changer, since word of mouth became more relevant than having the money to pay for a huge billboard at the high way exit. The residents itself appreciate that the service levels in the shops increased dramatically.

São Paulo can give us an example on how to make advertisement less polluting and more sustainable.
An example we can maybe already today adapt to, so that we don’t suffocate our cities with visual pollution and take our responsibility as graphic designers and advertisement agencies.

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