No Logo? No Problem

In 2006, the mayor of São Paulo mayor banned the use of outdoor advertising, including billboards and transit. Initially, the business community was alarmed, and worried that there would be millions in lost revenue and tens of thousands of lost jobs. But a 2011 study showed that 70 percent of the city’s residents find the ban to be beneficial. The ban has shown how inefficient billboard advertising is, and has led to innovative branding initiatives from companies looking to promote their products on the streets. Residents also feel that the ban has created “new references in the city” and created a “new identity” for São Paulo.


Flickr Stream of São Paulo after the ban.

Watch a short documentary from 2006

Ad Ban in Sao Paulo


  1. I hadn’t heard about this but I kind of love it.

    Recently I was at a concert where the lead singer told everyone to put away their cell phones, stop recording and enjoy in the shared experience. The crowd erupted in applause.

    It’s funny that technology is supposed to make it easier for us to share our experiences, and in some ways it does, but in other ways it distracts us from the shared experience of life.

    So, whether it’s something large scale like a city-wide ban on billboard and transit advertising, or small scale like a crowd of people enjoying a concert without a cell phone in hand, it’s good to see a movement back toward shared experiences IRL.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Heather Hickerson
    September 27, 2012
  2. I worked at British American Tobacco (BAT) for a number of year, around the early 2000s, the 3 global industry leaders (Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco and Japanese Tobacco International) came together to formulate the International Marketing Standards (IMS) for tobacco marketing and advertising.
    At the crux of the standards were two salient practices: 1. No sale to below 18 year olds and 2. No Above The Line (ATL) marketing which entail marketing on mass media which is a touch point for the below 18s.
    The standards were implemented so that the tobacco industry will fend off the global clampdown on the industry through class action lawsuits, ban on public smoking, ban on labelling, health warnings, and enforcement of dark markets.
    On adoption of the standards, there was panic in the companies, considering the fact that tobacco had some of the coolest adverts and TV commercials (remember Formula 1, Marlboro Country and the Rothmans test flight commercial with Light House Family’s Ocean drive in the background) made the majority and that is if not all believe that the commercial success of the tobacco industry can be directly tied to advertising.
    Fast forward 10 years, though the tobacco industry has not seen exponential growth in volumes and smoking incidence, however the industry has not experienced exponential drop either. The numbers have been stable with no net loss or gain. However, profit has increased through more efficient and targeted marketing which has evolved the Point of Sale as a new medium for marketing and advertising and while at it has discovered that 90% of buying decisions are made at the point of sale.

    Adefemi Adeniyi
    May 9, 2013
  3. Below the line marketing material are more power than ATL in some cases. When you need to buy something you don’t need to remember the tag TV or orthers Spot, but You see ans decide.

    The both campaign ( ATL & BTL) could be work together but efficiency in Pos level make a difference.

    June 6, 2013

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