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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Banksy on Advertising

I saw this earlier today...

People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.

- Banksy



Hat-tip Maria Wolters.

9 comments:

ThereIsNoHiddenMeaning said...

I don't like the man, i think he's a criminal and deserves to face charges for countless acts of vandalism, but i have to admit he makes a good point here.

Simon 44 said...

In complete agreement with Banksy. Wether I like his art or not (I do) is not the issue. Can I have one of your own printed notes please dude??!!!!

Skeptobot said...

Where did you see it? Do you have a link?

Mark Pack said...

The claim "advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity" is a pretty improbable one given the number of laws and regulations governing advertising, where it can appear and what it can say, in the UK.

If only there was a good lawyer around who could tell us exactly how many there are...

Adzcliff said...

Excellent and thought-provoking piece, apart from the very inaccurate statement about advertisers being able to say what they like wherever they like with total impunity. Unfortunately this makes it sound like someone grossly exaggerating the facts to bolster a cause they (rightly or wrongly) feel very strongly about...

Nick said...

Apart from the fact that you need a form of planning permission to have advertising displays up, he's right: they don't ask for permission.

Tony Lloyd said...

Other than his failure to capitalise "I", I completely agree with ThereIsNoHiddenMeaning.

Mind you it's strange that Banksy seems oblivious of his hypocrisy in thrusting his art in our faces without permission.

Barbara Gribbon said...

What Tony said. I like Banksy's stuff. However living (previously) in an area of inner city Bristol, sometimes yet another Banksy wasn't what you wanted to see. Other street art is available, some of it easier on the eye without being less punchy. That said, I'm not suggesting Banksy is single handedly required to reverse the trend to uglify our inner cities. If it can't be pretty, at least it's interesting.

Fiona Hanley said...

Huh. Banksy on asking permission. Ironic. The blogger he plagiarised the above piece from has been very courteous about it in return.

http://readingfrenzy.com/ledger/2012/03/taking_the_piss

Just on the substance of the piece, I'm not arguing with anything of what he's saying but there is a flip-side. Advertising revenue sponsors cultural events, festivals etc high and low brow, which wouldn't be as vibrant or as affordable without it.

It's a cliché but I think a truism that we've replaced religion with consumerism. A happy side effect of both is the patronage of art.