The Brazilian metropolis of São Paulo banned all outdoor advertising in January. The city's populist, right-wing mayor, Gilberto Kassab was fed up with what he felt was "visual polution."
All forms of outdoor advertising were affected, and with the threat of high fines, the ads came down quickly. So the city is now littered with empty billboard frames and marquees.
We think it looks refreshingly different, at the least. Also, Adbusters reports that residents like it (although Adbusters doesn't cite any sources...and they're called "Adbusters").
It feels a little draconian, though, and if advertisers can't use public space for their messages, can we defend street artists?
See Tony de Marco's photos of ad-free São Paulo.