Friday, June 08, 2007

Fly swatters

Every so often, councils dream up a plan to deal with illegal flyposting - Leeds, for a while, would slap black paint over gig posters in unapproved places, creating a scene which looked like the CIA was attempting to keep the street secret. The ever-popular waterjet solution is sometimes used; Camden went for the prosecution route for a while until it realised the deterrence effect wasn't worth the cost. Some years back, Liverpool tried offering a posterboard of tolerance, although putting it under the control of one of the local promoters created its own problems - not to mention that one single flyposting site was never going to replace the allure of all those streets.

Glasgow is currently adopting the tried-and-failed approach of slapping 'cancelled' stickers over gig posters. It doesn't work, of course, because to be a success the council needs to tell promoters what it's doing, and once its public knowledge, people know to ignore the cancelled signs as they've been put there by the council to try and discourage flyposting.

Still, the council is pleased with itself:

A council source said: "We can be a complete pain in the neck to the people doing this because the money and time they spend is completely wasted.

"And there's no point getting in a designer to produce a fancy poster when it will soon be a mess that doesn't tell anyone anything."

But since flyposting teams have long lived with the competitiveness which often sees one team posting over the top of another's work, this might not be quite as smart a move as the council hopes. And, unless they want to pay teams overtime to go round out of hours, they might find they're fighting posters which have already been up twelve hours, talking to the night-time crowds they're aimed at. It's only a half-thought out idea, isn't it?


karlt said...

Granted, it's not as clever an idea as Glasgow CC seem to think it is, but do you have any better ideas, Simon?

Anonymous said...

The people putting up posters are now peeling off the cancelled stickers and putting them on council property, especially "no parking" signs.

I'm impressed.

simon h b said...


I'm not minded to believe that flyposters are always a bad thing - it seems odd that people think that when you board up an abandoned building, somehow putting up an informative and well-designed poster on one of the boards makes it worse.

There are places where flyposting is inappropriate, but councils tend to view all flyposting as a bad thing whereas it can help a vibrant local arts scene.

Anonymous said...

I live in Glasgow, and in an area which is frequently flyposted - I've noticed more and more posters going up which give NO infomation about anything, i.e. they are pop art style pictures of flowers, or hieroglyphics, or something else. I had thought that these were the council's answer to flyposters, to paste over the top with some kind of urban art instead of advertising gigs etc. I haven't seen a single one of these "cancelled" signs - and i thought that the art scheme was far more effective than something like that would be. I should have known that GCC couldn't be that creative - so it obviously is a bill poster that has been catching my eye, although i have no idea what it's advertising..

Anonymous said...

This form of advertising with just pictures and no information is called a "subliminal campaign" for those of us who are out of touch.
ie Glasgow city council.

what gives Glasgow city council the right to "flypost" cancelled stickers anyway?

they will need to get up early if they want to beat the Glasgow flyposting teams and have been attempting exactly that for quite a few years.

keep up the good work guys!

Anonymous said...

Apparantly this cancelled sticker approach is being driven by Billy Love a Glasgow city council EMPLOYEE.

Billy is already dealing with the main purpotrators of flyposting who are Diabolical liberties of London who are now guising as city centre posters for control of legal drums in the city and whos director Tim Horrocks has already been served an ASBO by Camden council of London for illegal flyposting.

as usual Glasgow city council have not done any backround checks or homework in an attempt at a quick fix solution.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how much these CANCELLED stickers are costing Glasgow City Council taxpayers?

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