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The queers won the battle, but the war will go on
June 1, 2011 3:59 PM   Subscribe

Adshel is an Australian company that provides advertising on street furniture, such as shelters at bus stops or bins. In the last 48 hours they have been at the centre of a public fight between the Australian queer community and the Australian Christian Lobby.

In dispute was a Queensland Association of Healthy Communities (QAHC) campaign that encourages safe sex and features same-sex couples embracing. (facebook link)

After an orchestrated campaign of complaints about the ads from conservative Christians the ads were removed. Adshel initially denied that they had caved to pressure from the ACL, and asserted that they had reacted to numerous complaints from unconnected individuals. This prompted the queer community to launch their own campaign to get the ads reinstated. The queers won.
posted by MT (70 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
In Australia, are the crucifixes hung upside down?
posted by Renoroc at 4:02 PM on June 1, 2011


The facebook link isn't working for me.
posted by mathowie at 4:06 PM on June 1, 2011


When I'm logged into fb, I get directed to my own newsfeed. If I log out, I get directed to the login page.
posted by rtha at 4:06 PM on June 1, 2011


You can see the advert in this article.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:08 PM on June 1, 2011


Also, how are fully clothed people gently hugging each other offensive? It's crazy to protest such innocuous images of people barely doing more than standing next to each other.
posted by mathowie at 4:08 PM on June 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Link to the poster at Punch.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:08 PM on June 1, 2011


It's because they're poofters, mathowie. Raging poofs!
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:09 PM on June 1, 2011


Well, good for the poofters, then.
posted by warbaby at 4:14 PM on June 1, 2011


Also, Dude, queers is not the preferred nomenclature.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:16 PM on June 1, 2011


Man, Adshel must have a hell of a standard contract, to think they could somehow get away with this. Mr first thought would have been to sue for breach of contract and seek specific performance.

Trial by media is apparently far more effective.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:24 PM on June 1, 2011


I was watching this unfold on Facebook yesterday, and was going to combine it with the massive petition to ban live export of cattle in a post about Aussie people power. I agree with the attacks on Adshel, and I'm glad the ad is back. Not so sure on the animal rights thing.

But either way, they were both timely reminders that in a country this small a large enough group of people can make a difference.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:27 PM on June 1, 2011


It's crazy to protest such innocuous images...

Well, as we know, there's a whole lotta crazy out there these days, and the Christian right seems to have even more than its share.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:28 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Christian Right in Australia is much, much less crazy than the Christian Right in America.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:28 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, how are fully clothed people gently hugging each other offensive?

You are totally going to Hell. Totally.

...just FYI. Hell. Right there, and you're gonna be in it.

Proper Men are raging psychopaths for pussy. If you are anything less than a raging psychopath for pussy, you are going to hell. If you are able to control yourself in the presence of a less-than-entirely-shrouded woman, hell. If you spend five minutes a day thinking of something other than pussy, hell. If you are capable of hugging another human being, without immediately plotting how you can mount that person like a rutting godzilla, hell.

If, in fact, you deny that any of this is possible, and postulate a world where people can behave decently toward one another? Hell.

So, long story short, you're a filthy godless sinner who will be going to hell, and you should probably beg all nearby Godly Folk for forgiveness lest you be physically injured in this life as well. After all, God demands that you suffer, so why should we wait until you die?
posted by aramaic at 4:29 PM on June 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


2bucksplus: Also, Dude, queers is not the preferred nomenclature.

Around here (where the ad "contorversy" is, er, unfolding) it's a "reclaimed" word. Not everyone agrees with the concept, but that was how I took it to be used above.
posted by GeckoDundee at 4:35 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Adshel is an Australian company that provides advertising on street furniture

When I first read this sentence, I first and very briefly imagined that "street furniture" referred to abandoned stuff like couches and desks that one sees thrown out on city streets every now and then. And I thought, wow, that's pretty avant-garde, a company putting advertising on things like that. Hell of an interesting idea!

A second later, of course, I realized that wasn't it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:35 PM on June 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Christian Right in Australia is much, much less crazy than the Christian Right in America.

That wouldn't surprise me, particularly.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:36 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, how are fully clothed people gently hugging each other offensive?

This is the part I don't understand. But, as far as I can tell, the ACL is literally offended by any material that acknowledges that gay people exist, or does not explictly condemn them for existing.

From the "response" link: During the last Federal Election while standing as a Family First Senate candidate Francis tweeted “Children in homosexual relationships are subject to emotional abuse. Legitimising gay marriage is like legalising child abuse”.

This moron actually believes that all gay people hurt children. So, in her twisted brain, this innocuous safe sex ad is in fact propaganda for child rape. She must think it's like having a poster supporting Josef Friztl.

The real story here is Adshel not being able to distinguish the insane rantings of an idiot from a genuine, rational complaint, and being willing to throw gay people under the bus at the first sign of statistically insignificant public disapproval.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:41 PM on June 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


2bucksplus: Also, Dude, queers is not the preferred nomenclature.


and Dude is not the preferred, nor accurate, nomenclature for me :-)
posted by MT at 4:44 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


MT: and Dude is not the preferred, nor accurate, nomenclature for me :-)

Obviously you're not a golfer.
posted by gman at 4:47 PM on June 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Adshel is an Australian company that provides advertising on street furniture

Flapjax - the way it works is that local councils want to save money. Adshel comes in and says "we will build you a bunch of bus shelters at no cost to you, but we get to incorporate some billboards, which we own can can use to make profits". Adshel also agreeds to take care of the cleaning and (I think) maintainance.

The councils get some infrastructure, Adshel gets rent free advertising space, which they can sell and make enormous profits from.

The only people who lose are (as usual) the public, since their public space is polluted by advertising and, in order to be effective ad space, the bus shelters are right up at the edge of the pavement, meaning that everyone gets splashed by passing traffic on rainy days. Furthermore, the damn things are generally made of glass, meaning that they don't even provide much shade on sunny days.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:48 PM on June 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


the damn things are generally made of glass, meaning that they don't even provide much shade on sunny days.

Example (source)
posted by vidur at 4:52 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Best I can tell, most modern bus shelters are glass. I'd imagine it's crime prevention.
posted by maryr at 4:56 PM on June 1, 2011


Best I can tell, most modern bus shelters are glass. I'd imagine it's crime prevention.

As far as Adshel are concerned, it's about maximising that angles from which their ads can be viewed. That doesn't explain why the roofs are glass, though.

Plus, the glass can be shattered, if you try hard enough. I've seen the results more than a few times. It's some sort of safety glass - it shatters into little cubes. It happened so much at my local bus stop that they replaced the back panels with perforated steel sheets.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:02 PM on June 1, 2011


Not to defend Adshel who I'm sure are only concerned with ad visibility, but the glass shelters also help with you being able to see that there is a bus coming.

I pass one of the shelters that had the ad in question on my way to work, and I was surprised and happy when I saw it, thinking that we had made some progress. It was disappointing when I heard that a few small minded people had managed to have them removed.
posted by markr at 5:17 PM on June 1, 2011



Plus, the glass can be shattered, if you try hard enough. I've seen the results more than a few times. It's some sort of safety glass - it shatters into little cubes. It happened so much at my local bus stop that they replaced the back panels with perforated steel sheets.


Yeah, happened all the time in Forest Lodge.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:27 PM on June 1, 2011


It's not the hug per se—it's the look in their eyes. It's like they can see Parliament house in flames and working families marginalized, while the queer mafia roams down main street. If we let them in on our ads we've already lost. I suppose we can take comfort in the fact that if they're going to be gay, at least they have the manners to be white and not unattractive.
posted by oxford blue at 5:52 PM on June 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Also, how are fully clothed people gently hugging each other offensive?

I can't find the article right this minute, but The Age reporting yesterday included a quote from an ACL spokeswoman who said (I'm paraphrasing) that it wasn't that they were gay, per se, but rather that the pose was depicting a sexual act. Which is just a little teeny tiny bit disingenuous.
posted by prettypretty at 6:04 PM on June 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can't find the article right this minute, but The Age reporting yesterday included a quote from an ACL spokeswoman who said (I'm paraphrasing) that it wasn't that they were gay, per se, but rather that the pose was depicting a sexual act. Which is just a little teeny tiny bit disingenuous.

Oh come on. Ads I've seen on bus stops include those really sexualized chocolate ads. Saucy GTA ads. There's an LA Noire one now which I'm pretty sure is two detectives looking down at a corpse.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:07 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


As far as Adshel are concerned, it's about maximising that angles from which their ads can be viewed. That doesn't explain why the roofs are glass, though.

Ever see a person get struck by a car at high speed? They can fly up pretty high.
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:07 PM on June 1, 2011


"a public fight between the Australian queer community and the Australian Christian Lobby." .... "the queers won"

It really bothers me the way you've charactarised the issue this way.

Hundreds of thousands of people joined to protest the ads being taken down. Not just the queer community, but Australians from all walks of life, including myself, my wife and many other straight friends.

It's not about 'queers versus the ACL'. It would be more accurate to say "a public fight between mainstream Australian society and the Australian Christian Lobby." It seems that a very large proportion of Australians have a problem with this kind of bullshit homophobic censorship, not just the LBGT community.
posted by joz at 6:08 PM on June 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


Apparently there has been a "gay hate attack" on one of the posters.

I like to imagine somebody drew a cartoon penis and testicles poking one of the guys in the mouth. Would that be irony?
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:09 PM on June 1, 2011


I can't find the article right this minute, but The Age reporting yesterday included a quote from an ACL spokeswoman who said (I'm paraphrasing) that it wasn't that they were gay, per se, but rather that the pose was depicting a sexual act. Which is just a little teeny tiny bit disingenuous.

Teeny bit? The current ad on my closest AdshelTM bus stop is a nude picture of Natalie Portman (unless you count the perfume bottle as clothing). Don't see the ACL up in arms over that. How double is THAT standard?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:10 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh yes, all that sexual posing of two men hugging is waaay more dangerous than the James Boag crap we have to put up with.
posted by honey-barbara at 6:12 PM on June 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just in case it's not clear, I was being sarcastic about the teeny tininess of the disingenuousness -- I don't think you have to go as far as the james boags ad to prove the double standard.

For instance, if the ad in question depicts a sexual act, then what would they (ACL) suggest about the guy in the middle bottom picture here?
posted by prettypretty at 6:22 PM on June 1, 2011


The Christian Right in Australia is much, much less crazy than the Christian Right in America.

Maybe that's because Australia exports their crazy to boost Americas numbers.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 6:26 PM on June 1, 2011


"a public fight between mainstream Australian society and the Australian Christian Lobby."

You must live in a different Australia to me if supporting gay rights is mainstream. Most Aussies I know are two questions or less from being homophobes:

'I'm not homophobic.'
'Do you support gay marriage? Do you support gay adoption?'
'[flailing bullshit about how you can be against either or both those things but still be totally cool with poofs and stuff]'
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:28 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hundreds of thousands of people joined to protest the ads being taken down. Not just the queer community, but Australians from all walks of life, including myself, my wife and many other straight friends.

Not to mention the Premier of Queensland, and the Lord Mayor of Brisbane. As for the conservative party (ironically, called "Liberals" down under):

Queensland Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman was reluctant to weigh into the ad controversy, saying he had not yet seen the signs.

However, Mr Newman reminded reporters that he supported legalising gay marriage and called on the community to show tolerance.

“I have a very open mind about these things and I urge other people to be tolerant and open-minded as well,” he said.


The only story I can see here (between-the-lines) is that the christian lobby in these parts is so politically inactive & rarely heard from, that Adshel wasn't used to the tactics and had a momentary knee-jerk response to presumably a handful of complaints, until it realised that the homophobes do not represent the views of the general population.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:31 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]



Teeny bit? The current ad on my closest AdshelTM bus stop is a nude picture of Natalie Portman (unless you count the perfume bottle as clothing). Don't see the ACL up in arms over that. How double is THAT standard?


Honestly, the ads can get a bit much, and I'm surprised at what's allowed on them.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:38 PM on June 1, 2011


obiwanwasabi: I believe I read some polling recently that indicated the majority of Australians actually do support gay marriage. It's just not a vote-deciding issue for many - so the politicians tend to side with the Christian right who do vote based on this kind of thing. Typical amoral political expediency, the usual substitute for leadership.

I realise there are still many redneck homophobes around but I don't believe they are still in the majority. They've become a 'vocal minority', albeit still a large one.
posted by joz at 6:41 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Honestly, the ads can get a bit much, and I'm surprised at what's allowed on them.

As much as I enjoy pictures of pretty girls, I just wish that public space wouldn't be used for advertising. Public agencies shouldn't be privatising public space, and it's visual pollution that can't be avoided like print or television advertising.

Sau Paulo tried it a while back. Some US states, too.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:50 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]



As much as I enjoy pictures of pretty girls, I just wish that public space wouldn't be used for advertising. Public agencies shouldn't be privatising public space, and it's visual pollution that can't be avoided like print or television advertising.


What do you mean 'visual pollution'? What would you replace them with? Those nasty LA Noire ads I mentioned do make the commute a bit better, since they remind me that soon I'll be home playing LA Noire.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:52 PM on June 1, 2011


So who ended up holding the balance of power in the NSW upper house? It Fred Nile still there?
posted by GeckoDundee at 6:58 PM on June 1, 2011


obiwanwasabi: I believe I read some polling recently that indicated the majority of Australians actually do support gay marriage. It's just not a vote-deciding issue for many - so the politicians tend to side with the Christian right who do vote based on this kind of thing. Typical amoral political expediency, the usual substitute for leadership.

I realise there are still many redneck homophobes around but I don't believe they are still in the majority. They've become a 'vocal minority', albeit still a large one.
posted by joz at 11:41 AM on June 2 [1 favorite +] [!]

That's an interesting point. Australians tend to support many things, however it seems this support doesn't cause people to do anything other than respond favourably to opinion polls. I've read that Australians support medical marijuana, stem cell research and euthanasia to name a few policies.

However, as you say, nothing much comes from this. The minority that does object invariably commands a disproportionate legislative outcome.
posted by oxford blue at 7:05 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


What do you mean 'visual pollution'? What would you replace them with? Those nasty LA Noire ads I mentioned do make the commute a bit better, since they remind me that soon I'll be home playing LA Noire.

Sorry, I thought that the meaning of the term was reasonably obvious. Clutter. Eyesore. It's a commonly used term in urban planning. Stuff like this.

But, to answer your question, I wouldn't replace them with anything. IMO, it's not ethical to use public space for private gain. I just feel like the world would be a nicer looking place (and therefore a nicer place to be) without all these adverts everywhere. if you look at them in print or on a screen, there's an element of choise. Not so in the visual landscpe of the world.

However, to get back on track, as long as billboards are around, advertisers (and fundamentalist bigots) shouldn't get to discriminate against gay people or anyone else.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:06 PM on June 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


obiwanwasabi: I believe I read some polling recently that indicated the majority of Australians actually do support gay marriage.

The late 2010 Galaxy poll showed 78% of people supported a conscience vote on the issue. Only 62% claimed they personally supported marriage equality. Start asking more pointed questions about the implications of that equality, or throw adoption in the mix, and that narrow majority will quickly become a minority. It's easy to say 'yeah, sure, poofs, whatever', but when push comes to shove...

Aussies are quite comfortable holding romantic notions about gay equality in one part of their brains while being against it in another (ditto for racism, sexism, immigration, social welfare...) So we end up with cases like Anna Bligh rushing out to support safe sex advertising, but referring questions about same-sex adoptions to the Minister responsbile for child safety.

I work for an Australian government department. If I click this link at work, it's blocked and I get a big fat warning about accessing prohibited content.

We've got a long, long, long way to go. Wait for the first case of child abuse or neglect in a gay family to hit the headlines, and it'll all be undone in a heartbeat.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:16 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Queer" is an acceptable umbrella term which may include under it gay men, lesbians, transgender people, and anyone else whose life includes non-conformist sexual habits, including cross-dressers and BDSM people and a wide range of others.

There is nothing wrong with using "queer" in the manner used in this FPP.
posted by hippybear at 7:23 PM on June 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


obiwanwasabi: So we end up with cases like Anna Bligh rushing out to support safe sex advertising, but referring questions about same-sex adoptions to the Minister responsbile for child safety.

Given the Minister for Child Safety is the minister responsible for adoption, who do you think she should've referred it to?

I work for an Australian government department. If I click this link at work, it's blocked and I get a big fat warning about accessing prohibited content.
Can you click on any other Wikipedia links?
posted by GeckoDundee at 7:25 PM on June 1, 2011


If I click this link at work, it's blocked and I get a big fat warning about accessing prohibited content.

Whoa! I am assuming that Wikipedia continues to be available for other articles. If so, this is pretty shocking.
posted by vidur at 7:25 PM on June 1, 2011


obiwanwasabi: I work for an Australian government department. If I click this link at work, it's blocked and I get a big fat warning about accessing prohibited content.

I also work for an Australian Government department. But I can access that link.

The Australian Public Service Values provide that the APS "provides a workplace that is free from discrimination and recognises and utilises the diversity of the Australian community it serves".

Your scenario sounds like a matter for the Australian Public Service Commissioner.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:34 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, I can access the rest of Wikipedia. No, I'm not going to the APSC - I'll just point it out to our IT guys and they'll unblock it. My point was more that I live in a country where 'gay or lesbian or bisexual interest' can be a category of prohibited content.

Given the Minister for Child Safety is the minister responsible for adoption, who do you think she should've referred it to?

I don't think she should have referred it at all. I think she should grow a pair and express an opinion of her own. I'd also rather adoption be part of a broader families portfolio, rather than a dedicated 'child protection' agency that thinks there's some sort of synergy between helping people to enjoy the right to a family and being 'focussed on preventing children from being abused and neglected'.

Straight person? Just have sex. Gay person? Papers, please. No, not here - there's a special department for people like you. I mean, 'you people'. I mean...
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:06 PM on June 1, 2011


Well putting the emphasis tags round "child safety" rather derailed your point then.
posted by GeckoDundee at 8:26 PM on June 1, 2011


But, to answer your question, I wouldn't replace them with anything. IMO, it's not ethical to use public space for private gain. I just feel like the world would be a nicer looking place (and therefore a nicer place to be) without all these adverts everywhere. if you look at them in print or on a screen, there's an element of choise. Not so in the visual landscpe of the world.

One of Sydney's most beloved landmarks is an ad.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:39 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of Sydney's most beloved [citation needed] landmarks is an ad.

I look forward to the day when the Lane Cove Bus Interchange would be a similarly beloved landmark.
posted by vidur at 9:34 PM on June 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


There used to be big pictures of hunky Australian men gleefully hugging each other all the time in the papers. However, thanks to Alistair Cook and Jonathan Trott. the Australian test team hasn't taken a wicket for so long the Australian public have forgotten what it looks like.
posted by joannemullen at 11:54 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was amused that once they figured out that the ACL was behind this, the only reason the ACL could provide as justification in lieu of homophobia[1] is that there is a condom showing therefore won't someone please think of the children!? Because obviously children don't become adults and should never receive any safe-sex messages ever; parental squeamishness is more important than public health!

[1] they are raging homophobes[2] of course but will deny that
[2] not homophones, thankyou iOS...
posted by polyglot at 12:31 AM on June 2, 2011


Some Aussies might remember that it was ACL's managing director Jim Wallace who was recently in trouble with an anti-gay, anti-Muslim tweet on Anzac Day. I was reading an article from a former fundamentalist where she says that she's disappointed but not suprised that people like ACL and Access Ministries (the ones behind the current school chaplains controversy) say one thing to their own groups and another to the media.
Christians have become used to this lack of scrutiny and, in my experience, have forgotten how out of step with the rest of the community many of their beliefs and attitudes are.
Seems like more of the same from ACL. I think support for gay marriage is a bit soft in Australia, but I also think that most people don't have a problem with ads like this.
posted by harriet vane at 1:24 AM on June 2, 2011


Wow, small world colliding on MeFi. I'm quite involved with QAHC as a volunteer so I got the message from them right away, and turns out one of the two in the ad is a friend of mine. The Facebook event kept increasing by 1000 people every 30 mins. It was a broad spectrum of people so it really did reflect the mainstream.

"Queer" is a commonly-used word here for anything GLBT-related and doesn't have quite the same stigma as it does in the US. Though Campbell Newman being pro-gay-marriage was news to me - but I thought that he was pretty decent from my short dealings with him, and he was the only politician actually honest about international students in Australia (without them, there's no money).

GOA, the other billboard company hosting the ads, responded excellently to ACL.
posted by divabat at 2:43 AM on June 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, I can access the rest of Wikipedia. No, I'm not going to the APSC - I'll just point it out to our IT guys and they'll unblock it.

If that's the case, then it's simply poor implementation of a firewall, and not institutionalized homophobia.

So I don't really see your argument that "'gay or lesbian or bisexual interest' [is] a category of prohibited content" as far as the APS in concerned. That doesn't mean that it isn't - I imagine different agencies may block a whole bunch of stuff - just that I don't think that your example is a good one.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:11 AM on June 2, 2011


The ACL really shot themselves in the foot on this. In additional the all the media attention, getting their ad on TV, and just general good will the QAHC have garnered, not only have Adshel given the ad run a free two week extension, but JCDecaux (feeling left out?) have given a "heavy discount" on the buy with them too. I'm sure that can only help in getting out the safe sex message that was the point of the exercise in the first place.
posted by adamt at 3:50 AM on June 2, 2011


Honestly, the ads can get a bit much, and I'm surprised at what's allowed on them.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:38 AM on June 2 [+] [!]


I don't know LiB. We have a pretty strong culture of free speech in Australia.
Sometimes I know I'm going to hell.
posted by bystander at 4:00 AM on June 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


lol at the Goa spokesperson:

"The ACL’s claim that these men are engaging in an act of foreplay is drawing a long bow. If that’s foreplay, then clearly I’m doing it wrong."
posted by panaceanot at 4:24 AM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The only people who lose are (as usual) the public, since their public space is polluted by advertising

IMO, it's not ethical to use public space for private gain. I just feel like the world would be a nicer looking place (and therefore a nicer place to be) without all these adverts everywhere.

The business model for Adshel (a joint venture between APN News & Media and Clear Channel), and JCDecaux is not new:
"In 1854 Litfaß proposed putting up columns in the streets of Berlin for announcement and advertising purposes. Allegedly, he was disgusted by the unsystematic and ubiquitous posting of pamphlets, notices and other materials on walls, doors, fences and trees. In December of that year he was granted permission to erect such Annoncier-Säulen columns, and on July 1, 1855, the first 100 Litfaß-Säulen were presented in Berlin.
Litfaß had a monopoly on his advertising columns and grew rich fast. After his death in Wiesbaden in 1874, the idea of putting up Litfaßsäulen (Litfaß columns or Litfaß pillars) quickly spread to other German cities. Today, they can be found in other countries as well."


Some people might complain if these old advertising columns were removed.
posted by iviken at 4:58 AM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of Sydney's most beloved landmarks is an ad.

I don't know Sydney well enough to know if that is the case, but there are two notable landmarks in Melbourne that are basically ads.

Anyway the significant thing I've taken away from this is that the advertising company backed down this time. My memory is a bit shaky, but I'm pretty sure that a similar incident happened either during or in the lead up to the last federal election, possibly the ads were by the Australian Sex Party (yes it's a real thing), but in any case the ads were pulled and that was that. The response (and outcome) this time around strikes me as being a noticeable change.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:28 AM on June 2, 2011


Related, though divergent, freedom of expression protesters plan a 'swear-in' in response to Victorian State legislation regarding on-the-spot fines for offensive language.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:34 AM on June 2, 2011


People fighting for the right to be equally advertised at, to and by. Strange times.
posted by srboisvert at 2:10 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know Sydney well enough to know if that is the case, but there are two notable landmarks in Melbourne that are basically ads.

It's only because you don't have the Harbour or Opera House that you feel compelled into this "we have more advertising landmarks than you" style of oneupmanship.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:19 PM on June 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


About those Melbourne landmarks: Nylex clock and Skipping girl sign.
posted by vidur at 4:19 PM on June 2, 2011


Adamt wrote: The ACL really shot themselves in the foot on this.

Probably not, from their perspective. It would have been deeply cynical for them to refrain from protesting just because other people will think they're a bunch of reactionary dimwits. Instead they had a major win: everybody knows that they stood up for their values and like-minded people will be encouraged to join them.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:50 PM on June 2, 2011


Thanks Vidur, those are much better links than mine
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 10:17 PM on June 2, 2011


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