TED Prize
BETA: We'd love your feedback
Sao Paulo São Paulo, Brazil

A world without advertising

Public Space

Project Summary

Sao Paulo banned billboards in 2007

Project Description

In 2007 São Paulo said no to billboards and banned all outdoors advertising, joining the growing list of cities regulating advertising that they see as pollution. Years after, citizens are more happy with a cleaner and visually more appealing city, while business compete with creativity instead of brute force. Above, a mural by GE that makes a creative use of the authorization to paint mural on buildings instead of prohibited billboards.

What are the main takeaways from this story?

1- It is always a good time to re-evaluate our current living conditions and challenge a statu quo
2- Creativity (here on the businesses part) comes from difficulty and frustration
3- Even visual pollution has an effect on the standard of living

Describe a "good" failure in your process or explain how potential challenges resulted in opportunities to learn or grow.

Business was expected to get hurt but actually came up with new, creative ways to engage with customers than forcing logos onto their eyeballs.

What was the biggest challenge or biggest surprise?

It was surprising how easily the businesses adapted to the new rules.

Explain how to share this project with your community?

São Paulo's Mayor in Brazil passed a law that made it illegal to advertise on public spaces, so billboards were all removed and store fronts signs were reduced. It helped make the city look more livable, and forced businesses to focus on more creative ways to find customers and build their brand.