You’ve likely seen them—large ads in bright yellow lettering offering cheap jeeps from Barbera’s Autoland.
The words are plastered on over 300 Bigbelly trashcans around Philly, particularly in the heavily trafficked areas of Center City. It’s thanks in part to a city decision allowing Bigbelly to sell ad space on their trash cans, according to a Philly.com article.
But for many Philadelphians, the bright advertisements in Center City, especially in public parks like Rittenhouse Square, became an annoyance. Some residents took to Twitter to voice their opposition to the look of the ads.
Ghastly new eyesore in my neighborhood at 11 & Spruce thanks to @BigBelly and @GaryBarbera_ Please help us @PhiladelphiaGov @Philly311 @PHLCouncil pic.twitter.com/fWEFdA1Pqk— Jim MacMillan (@JimMacMillan) June 8, 2018
Others took action. Last week we wrote about a group of artists and activists, who implemented “Trashcan Takeover” to “take back public space,” that had previously occupied by the ads.
Led by Conrad Benner who runs the popular blog “Streets Dept” and with City Fitness funding, they bought one month of ad space on 18 trash cans in and around Rittenhouse Square. They turned that space over to local artists who decked the trash cans out with mini murals rather than ads.
The new mini-murals were unveiled last week, but they’ll only stay in place for a month, after which City Fitness doesn’t have the funds to renew a contract.
Now, we want to hear from you. Do you mind the trash can ads? What do you think would be better on those spaces? Do you like the idea of turning ads into art? If so, how could that be sustainable in the long run?
Let us know what you think about the trash can ads and art in the comments below.