Over the weekend, the Public Ad Campaign organized groups of New Yorkers to go around and whitewash illegal street-level billboards located throughout the city that the Department of Buildings is apparently too busy to enforce despite their stricter registration program. The coordinated effort not only served as a reminder of the advertising that targets us at every turn, but also proved to be a valiant attempt at citywide beautification. The whitewashed ads were instantly transformed into blank canvases for teams of street artists to reclaim as ad-hoc gallery spaces. Though we personally feel that the contrast created by leaving the areas white might have sent a more powerful message to the casual passerby, we still applaud the results – 120 areas in all were temporarily taken back by the project.  

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