Sao Paulo - a City Without Ads

In September 2006, a very strange (for this time) law was adopted in the city - the whole outdoor advertising fell under the ban. The initiator of this law became mayor of the city Gilberto Kassab. At that time, in Sao Paulo, there were more than 8,000 billboards, many of which were installed illegally. It was ordered to destroy every advertisement that may be caught by people’s eyes. The ban also included ads on public transport and brochures of any kind.

Even shop windows had to restrain “their appetite”: for every 10 meters of facade there were only 1,5 meter for information about the establishment. On the question of the necessity of such radical measures Kassab replied simply: “In the 11-million city it is difficult to determine which advertising is legitimate, and which is not”. For total cleaning of Sao Paulo from advertising they spent $8 million.

In January 2007 it was stated that the advertisers should dismantle their production within three months. For each day of delay, there was a fine of 4500 dollars. Each day about 100 billboards were dismantled and by April 1, no ads left - Sao Paulo was completely free from advertising.

However, the city's economy passed that test with dignity and financial crash didn’t occur. But critics, who predicted the transformation of the city into the catacombs, were close to the truth. All advertising disappeared with unimaginable speed and consequences of the disappearance were visible: piles of garbage from the torn posters and signboards, and warped facades.

Now about 70 percent of the citizens believe that the disappearance of unnecessary information from the streets is good for the city and people. To replace the outdoor advertising there is the Internet, and marketers have opened vast space for activity.

By the way, Sao Paulo - is not the only city with prohibited outdoor advertising. Similar laws are effective in other parts of the world: Alaska, Hawaii, even in some US states. Generally there are around 1 500 cities, in which the “outdoor advertising” is banned.