I Love the French

Why? Well, among other things, for hating billboards. Max Colchester of the Wall Street Journal reports:

On Friday, Alex Baret plans to board a train to central Paris, pull out a can of spray paint and deface a billboard, as he has done every last Friday of the month for more than two years. The slogan he prefers to leave scrawled on his targets: Harcèlement Publicitaire, or Harassment by Advertising.

How did this hate for billboards come about, you ask?

Mr. Baret says the seeds for his campaign were sewn in the spring of 1997, when he was riding the Paris subway and he looked up at an ad. “I suddenly thought: ‘I am in a prison,’ ” he says. “I saw the slogan, the lies, and it disgusted me.”

The average guy on the Paris subway is a critical theorist! Awesome!

Just imagine how Clear Channel would respond to this…they’d probably release the hounds! And what is the French industry’s response? Well, it’s French!

The industry is remaining stoic. “There is no point rolling around on the floor crying,” says Stephané Dottelonde, president of the French Union for Outdoor Advertising. “You have to respect that these groups exist.”