As a private person, I have a passion for landscape, and I have never seen one improved by a billboard. Where every prospect pleases, man is at his vilest when he erects a billboard. When I retire from Madison Avenue, I am going to start a secret society of masked vigilantes who will travel around the world on silent motor bicycles, chopping down posters at the dark of the moon. How many juries will convict us when we are caught in these acts of beneficent citizenship?” David Ogilvy (1911-1999), founder of Ogilvy & Mather, which is part of the biggest marketing and communications companies in the world.
All things considered, Ogilvy’s perspective on billboards is interesting … But I share Banksy’s (see below) relief when spared yet another sales pitch. Does that stir your imagination?
Writing Prompt: Write a poem, essay or short story on what today’s world might be like without advertising.
Illustration: banksy.co.uk – Banksy celebrating a blank billboard; Banksy is an England-based graffiti artist, political activist and film director of unverified identity. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humor with graffiti executed using a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.