International artists have teamed to fight against outdoor ads which in their view significantly disfigure a city. 26 street artists including famed Banksy’s mate Paul Insect, have painted their own work over existing outdoor adverts.
Artists from the UK, France, and Italy are on a road trip around the cities in UK as part of a campaign entitled “Brandalism.” They aim to "challenge the destructive impacts of the advertising industry".
"We’ve taken over these billboards because the advertising industry takes no responsibility for the messages they force-feed us every day. They claim to give us choice but we have no choice to 'opt out' from these intrusions into our public and personal spaces,” group member Robert Graysford says. "We're lab rats for ad execs who exploit our fears and insecurities through consumerism. I’m a human being, not a consumer. So by taking these billboards, we are taking these spaces back. If Sao Paolo in Brazil can ban all outdoor advertising, so can we."
Ad campaigns by Nike, Footlocker, JD Sports, McDonald's and Locog have been “refreshed” by the artists among others. A total of 35 anti-advertising artworks appeared across Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and the UK capital, the British Campaign website reports.
Art that has covered the ads include parodies on real ad campaigns. Among them are images of footballer Wayne Rooney holding up a Footlocker bag with an inscription reading "Just loot it" This poster refers to last year’s riots in London.
Other parody posters refer to various social issues including debt, the environment, and consumerism.
The group say their action was to oppose the strict branding regulations applied ahead of the Olympics for the brands not sponsoring the event.
Other artists in the group include Paul Insect, Ron English, Robert Montgomery, Broken Fingaz, and Know Hope.