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Hello. Thanks for all the constructive comments, and for the usual entertaining detraction. And so, with the time for decision-making fast approaching, it seems we have the following broad options for the anti-ad:
1. A blank sheet with nothing on it at all.
2. "This space left intentionally blank", and no other wording.
3. A work of art/inspiring text/etc.
4. Any of the above, with a reference to ArtNotAds.com somewhere on the poster.
My personal suggestion is to go for option 2, but use the phrase "this intrusive advert has been replaced"? The benefit of using this phrase is that when you type it into Google.com, the first link is to this page. And so the statement is made, and for anyone who wants to research it, they'll find the driving force.
Of course, we could put a nice picture on it too!
As for raising the funds, what do people think about the use of www.fundable.org? It would only leave us one month to raise the cash. Even if we don't raise enough for a large ad on the tube, we may be able to raise the money for a smaller ad on the tube, or in a newspaper - perhaps even a national paper.
In response to some of the points that have been raised:
In fact, I *have* tried recently to write to my MP about the use of intrusive advertising in public places. Although the otherwise excellent www.WriteToThem.com didn't manage to send my message, I'll be writing again, and I would ask you to do the same. It only takes 2 minutes using www.WriteToThem.com so give it a go. I'd suggest you ask for your MP's thoughts on the subject, and ask about the laws governing the renting of public space for advertising. Perhaps it would be a good idea to write to your local council too?
Suggesting that the public always make the "wrong" choice when given an option is a strange argument. This kind of thinking leads to the conclusion that the people who make the rules are beyond reproach and don't deserve scrutiny. The ultimate conclusion to this line of thought must be that we should live in a dictatorship, and be thankful to do so. Democracy (at least in theory) is fundamentally based on choices made by the public. Surely it's likely that well-informed members of the public are quite capable of making decisions that affect... erm, the public? Perhaps it is possible that ill-informed people would be poorly equipped to make decisions, but then an obvious fix for that would simply be to improve the quality and availability of the information upon which decisions are made. But instead, the decisions are made by private concerns. Taking decisions out of the hands of the public doesn't automatically mean that better decisions will be made. The quality of the information is still paramount, and of course, any other motivating factors such as money have to be considered.
When it comes to funding the Tube, as has been said before, this campaign isn't just about the Tube. However, since the question has been asked, here are my thoughts:
The advertisers aren't donating money to public services. They are paying for "mind-share", for their intrusion into your life, for the chance that you can be convinced to change your habits and consequently give them some of your hard-earned cash. There is no point in placing advertising on the Tube (or anywhere) if it doesn't raise revenue. The revenue is raised from the people who look at the ads. In a Tube filled with adverts, you give your money to the advertisers who basically cream some off the top and give what's left back to the Tube. Wouldn't it be good to cut out the middle-man and just pay for a public transport system?
Finally, it's certainly not true to say that "we sold" public space for intrusive advertising use. But regardless of who actually sold it, it's time to take it back.Austin Plunkett, 15 years ago.