Work Cut Out for You

In an imaginative campaign for Los Angeles’ arena football team, the Avengers, Mendelsohn/Zien has been putting life-size cardboard cutouts of what appear to be people on bus-stop benches. Each of the figures is holding a sign asking for tickets to a game.

Cute idea, no?

Well, maybe it was pissed-off bus drivers stopping for what they thought was a passenger. Or maybe there are a lot of lonely people in L.A. But it seems almost all of the 5,000 cardboard figures have vacated their posts.

On block after block throughout the city, all that’s left are the two strips of white adhesive used to hold the cutouts in place.

“We don’t have an exact count, but a lot of them have been stolen,” said Steven Piano, group account director at M/Z. “I guess there is a buzz about these things. What people are using them for, I couldn’t say. We’re trying to replace as many as we can.”

The thievery may mean the work is a hit, but it’s hard to tell if the shop’s top brass is happy about it. When asked for a sample of the work, Richard Zien snapped, “Go out and steal one like everyone else.”