Sunday, January 15, 2017

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The curse of illuminated advertisements

The suppression of the large, illuminated, advertising signs throughout London was by far the most tolerable of war restrictions. There is no question that the blinding of these staring and superfluous vulgarities enhanced the nocturnal beauty. We dispensed most comfortably with them for five years. Why were they permitted to return? One, the most monstrous of its kind, can be seen by day across the river, chained to its tower, and threatening to blaze up any night. The rest of the tribe, with additions, are back. Their lights wink stupidly and flicker in an exasperatingly mechanical rhythm. The current unrolls and rolls up again a meaningless legend in strident colours, until the passer-by is almost provoked into a vow of abstinence from the products crudely heralded. The very glare of them and the inanity of their endless repetition are mesmeric. They assault tired eyes and harry the nerves of the home-going worker. They are blatant in their ugliness as they are blatant in defiance of the coal shortage. We are very far from being fanatical supporters of the sentimental argument commercial expansion has so often to meet. But commercial advertising must recognise its limits. A limit has been reached in this impudent desecration of some of our finest City-scapes.

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from Advertising | The Guardian http://ift.tt/2jRnObC
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