Jiminy Cricket! It's our Corporate America Flag billboard!
February 2, 2002 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Jiminy Cricket! It's our Corporate America Flag billboard! Once upon a time (quite recently, in fact), the good people of Adbusters received a call from a production assistant for a movie being made by Miramax, a Disney corporation. It seems the new film needed an establishing shot of Times Square in New York City. But something was in the way. Jiminy Cricket! It's our Corporate America Flag billboard! Disney gave us three options. We could (a) take the billboard down for a week or two; (b) cover up the billboard; or (c) change the billboard's corporate logos back into stars. Flag Picture.
posted by Niahmas (28 comments total)
During location film shoots, neighbors sometimes create disturbances until they are paid off. Adbusters should follow the same strategy and use the proceeds to fund their programs. They should ask Disney for an obscene fee to cover/remove the billboard. Disney probably won't pay, but they'll still have to pay someone to remove the billboard digitally.
posted by neuroshred at 12:46 PM on February 2, 2002

good call!. or cover it, and during filming, have someone up there to make sure the cover keeps slipping off.
posted by jcterminal at 12:55 PM on February 2, 2002

Do nothing is the best course of action. Let them spend their money either cgi'ing it out or pay the local government to override free speech and take down the billboard against adbusters choice.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:25 PM on February 2, 2002

Of course, I also believe said Disneyfication of Times Square has led to lower crime, increased tourism and is the model for other cities around the country (our attempt here in LA)
posted by owillis at 1:40 PM on February 2, 2002

How about choice (e) pay disney to product place their billboard. It seems like a win win situtuation, it'll be in background in some shot and the adbusters people will spread their message. Its not like they have anything against using the system to criticize it. Also, Disney gets money and a great excuse - its called business.

I'm surprised no one has submitted a flag criticizing Disney's eternal copyright scheme.
posted by skallas at 2:00 PM on February 2, 2002

The "Disnification" of Times Square has been criticized across America and around the world

Um, by whom? People who liked it better when it was a cesspit of crime and porn?
posted by donkeyschlong at 2:28 PM on February 2, 2002

donkeyschlong - yes, dammit! the people need their peepshows and cocaine! "The New Times Square" is a travesty.
posted by hipstertrash at 2:31 PM on February 2, 2002

I'm sure Disney started by asking simply because that is easier than the other options ... but at this point digitally editing it out is such a simple process that they'll probably have an intern do it. Or just use different camera angles. Sheesh ... these people really are full of their own self-importance.
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:01 PM on February 2, 2002

How about choice (e) pay disney to product place their billboard.

With what, exactly?
posted by kindall at 4:04 PM on February 2, 2002

With what, exactly?

With sex of course.
posted by fuq at 4:09 PM on February 2, 2002

I knew mouse sex would have its day on MetaFilter.
posted by SpecialK at 4:13 PM on February 2, 2002

kindall, adbusters does have money. Whether they can match the money in my hypothetical scenario is another thing. Its called bargaining, at least give it a try.
posted by skallas at 4:28 PM on February 2, 2002

the people need their peepshows and cocaine! "The New Times Square" is a travesty.

So true. I always get upset when I have to go through Times Square, wading through the tourists. It's all I can do to keep from screaming, "They're billboards! You're taking pictures of ads!!!!"

Course, I might have to phtograph the Adbuster's board...
posted by videodrome at 5:22 PM on February 2, 2002

I wonder how they feel about the cover of the February issue of Wired Magazine.
posted by stevengarrity at 5:50 PM on February 2, 2002

Oh yeah. Native NYers (and by "native" I mean anyone who has lived here more than ten years) love to complain about the Disneyfication of Times Square, and it's patently ridiculous. I mean, no NYers actually GO to Times Square anyway. Before, they didn't go because it was just porn, drugs, and crime. Now, they don't go because it's touristy crap and megachains. What's the big deal? I mean, nowadays, you get your porn online, your drugs delivered, and anyone who is lamenting the lack of crime can just go to Jersey.
posted by UrbanFigaro at 5:55 PM on February 2, 2002

Hey, I used to go to Times Square! Now it isn't worth shit. I guess it is good for the city, with all the money those losers bring in, but I can't stand to go near the place anymore. On the other hand, I do suppose they could have picked worse places than there to build a theme park in Manhattan, like SoHo. Oh wait, never mind.
posted by donkeymon at 6:29 PM on February 2, 2002

Disney gave us three options
A demand? Has anyone seen this "request"/"demand" in its entirety?? Was it a threat, a legal threat? I want more info (I can't find it on adbuster's site, of course). The whole story, please?

What would people say if instead of adbuster's funny flag, it was something else that disney didn't like - oh, say, a victoria's secret lingerie ad, or something similar? Or what if it was something Disney, a "gayday" ad?
posted by tomplus2 at 7:52 PM on February 2, 2002

on my way to the theatre the other night I walked through times square and was struck by how much it had changed. how long had it been since I'd been there? I thought I was there all the time -- I had to guess it's been a few months, but I definately have been there since 9/11.

The kids grow up so fast these days.

(p.s: what's up w/ the new toys r us? I have NEVER seen that before. ridiculous. I didn't used to HATE times square...)

(also-- blaming Disney is valid, but I think we're letting MTV off WAY too easy...)
posted by palegirl at 8:31 PM on February 2, 2002

I still wish I could understand why the Apple logo is included on the infamous Corporate Flag. I can't, for the life of me, think of what corporate evils the company has commited.

Maybe someone can inform me.
posted by tenseone at 9:30 PM on February 2, 2002

no NYers actually GO to Times Square anyway

Hmmm, interesting. So I take it that the people that work in the headquarters buildings of Conde Nast, Reuters, and soon Ernst & Young are all tourists?

Speaking as a former NY-er....you gotta remember that Times Square really became a sleaze pit in the '60's-'70's. Personally, I think the redevelopment of Times Square is funadamentally a great thing -- we're not going to get back to the Times Square of the 30's/40's, but it's sure a LOT better than it was 10 short years ago.
posted by PeteyStock at 9:36 PM on February 2, 2002

adbusters are doing a great thing by not bowing to disney's corporate might, but it'll cost disney less than $2k to digitally track and remove the offending billboard.
posted by phalkin at 9:50 PM on February 2, 2002

I can't, for the life of me, think of what corporate evils the company has commited.

I'm not a member of applewatch.com or anything, but a little while after Apple did all their cool "be different think outside the box, you're not a PC conformist" ads they sent the Church of Satan a letter asking them to remove their "Made on a Mac" logo button from their websites. [full story] [much shorter reuters story]

Or maybe they thought it just looked cool. Maybe they wanted to be fair, "Well I see you got MS up there, now put the Apple logo up." "*sniff* Yes sir. We must be fair. Steve Jobs is a jerk too."
posted by skallas at 11:47 PM on February 2, 2002

I think Apple was accused of undercutting pay in some of its foreign plants. But there are far worse corporations out there. Maybe it's because their logo is ubiquitous enough for people to recognize it, and that it fits in nicely with the flag theme...

...Ah, I'm sick of Adbusters. Their anti-corp message is important, but it's getting REALLY old. They could use some better PR, ironically...
posted by Down10 at 12:21 AM on February 3, 2002

> We must be fair. Steve Jobs is a jerk too.

Well, and isn't it true? Gates may be the richest geek but he doesn't stand alone as the dorkiest, too -- Jobs is a full match for him in that department (and Larry Ellison makes three...)
posted by jfuller at 7:15 AM on February 3, 2002

Apple's also caught a lot of (deserved) flak for using images of some terrific individuals to shill (sp?) their wares. The "think different" campaign with the likes of Ghandi was a classic case of corportate co-optation. Seeing such people on billboards advertising a company they were never affiliated with in any way did make a lot of people rather upset.
posted by drywall at 9:25 AM on February 3, 2002

AdBusters is a disgusting, hypocritical little organization. I hope that Disney uses whatever corporate/legal/financial/political muscle it has to get its' way. Simply put, just buy AdBusters off. I'm sure they have a price.

I'm not a huge Disney fan, but "The Lion King" was really cool. Really.
posted by davidmsc at 7:33 PM on February 3, 2002

How is Adbusters disgusting or hypocritical? If they're willing to be bought off, yes, but if they're notwhat are you basing your disgust upon?
posted by UnReality at 6:56 PM on February 4, 2002

AdBusters anti-commercialism is what disgusts me. Their use of slogans, logos, and other commercialism is hypocritical.
posted by davidmsc at 4:10 PM on February 5, 2002

« Older No more false IDs on Metafilter!   |   "I thought we were the popular front." Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments