Urban Spam, Our Thoughts


We wanted to give you some background to the little video we published yesterday on YouTube.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 20 july 2006

We wanted to give you some background to the little video we published yesterday on YouTube.

We first started to become aware of a concern of a growing interference by advertisers in our personal space when we watched Graham Hill of Treehugger present at the Future Marketing Summit in NYC in February. Graham talked about the ‘End Of Inbetween’ at the FMS as a negative trend and covered the rise of omnipresence in marketing messages.

A couple of months later, British marketing guru Russell Davies started using the term ‘Urban Spam’ on his blog. We haven’t asked Russell where he got the term from – but we remember a specific post where he questioned why an ad had to be wrapped around his morning coffee. He has a special category now for posts on his blog about Urban Spam.

So, from that point on, we monitored this concept of outdoor interruption that the ad industry seems to think so sexy. Don’t get us wrong – right time, right place, relevant message – it works a treat and people ‘get it’ and appreciate it.

But there seems to be an opposing view with the public & press to that of the advertising industry. Two weeks ago New York’s AM Newspaper complained about the rise of Advertecture and this has been echoed in the blogs for a while.

On the PSFK tour of ad agencies, we felt execs were a little unaware by the trend when we presented the idea of ‘The End Of Inbetween’ . Last week on the tour, Martin at SS+K asked if the ad industry realized that this was a growing feeling – and although we wanted to say yes, the answer was no.

So the film is our wave of the flag. A warning. It’s something we hope will start a conversation, a discussion, a debate, better advertising.


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