Attack of the advertecture in New York

Ever feel like all of New York is becoming Times Square writ large, overly commercialized and Disneyfied? You’re not alone. Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer, taking a page out of Charles Schumer’s playbook, held a slow-news-day press conference last weekend to decry illegal outdoor ads popping up on buildings and scaffoldings all over island, like the horrifying H&M ad on the Flatiron building this spring. He said building owners and advertisers “have been in cahoots” in producing this blight to the streetscape. Stringer wants to up the fines for illegal postings to a cool $25,000, which presumably would dissuade advertisers from tactics like “wild postings,” which to some looks a lot like corporate graffiti. (One outdoor ad specialist calls pasting ads on construction sites and buildings “an excellent choice of media for a comparatively inexpensive cost, demographic-specific and in-your-face format.” Gee, thanks for the in-my-face formats. In May, and the Municipal Art Society held a contest for readers to submit their examples of the most offensive “advertecture.” The winner: this four-story Molson billboard on an Upper East Side apartment building.

—Posted by Brian Morrissey