“Take, for instance, the fire station near Wrigley Field … the awning there could have an ad for Tabasco Sauce, with the heat tie-in. It’s like pop art.” 

– Philip Lynch of Fresh Picked Media, awarded contract to sell advertising rights on city property in Chicago

City property used for ads?

The Thursday Chicago Tribune reported disappointing results in the City of Chicago’s campaign to sell advertising space on its bridge houses, traffic signal boxes, parking meter boxes, city vehicles, buildings …  it’s not selling.  Several reasons why.  Read about it in the article by John Byrne.

But … it made me remember those scenes out of Blade Runner and Mystery Men.

Here is a YouTube link to the city scapes of Los Angeles of the future (2019!), an urban setting overwhelmed with advertising.  Alas, click on the link and you find that its content has been blocked by Warner Bros.  Copyright, you know.  Sorry.

Champion City is home of the Mystery Men.  It riffs off of the urban dystopian setting of Blade Runner.  Including gratuitous  advertising;  see the street scenes and Captain Amazing’s commercial-patches covered uniform.

Advertising on public property makes it a little less public and a little more the property of the advertiser.  Albeit in a limited sense.  It certainly isn’t bribery, but it certainly is buying public resource for the purpose of using it for influence.