Saint Petersburg bans street furniture advertising

By Fred Kuhlman • december 5th, 2008

Russia’s second largest city Saint Petersburg (4.6 million inhabitants) made the unusual decision to ban all ground-level advertising located on the pavements. The city is enforcing the ban by removing all pillars and banners on the pavements, a process that will take several months.

According to the city’s urban improvement division, the forced removal of the street furniture (including digital signage!) will make life easier for its inhabitants. Oleg Virolaynen, the head of the council’s committee for improvement and road economy, said the aim is for street furniture advertisements to disappear entirely. In recent years street furniture ads have multiplied uncontrollably in recent years and became obstructive to pedestrians according to Virolaynen. 

The research company Espar Analitik estimates that there are more than 21,000 street furniture objects scattered across Saint Petersburg.

This decision of Saint Petersburg is the most drastic we have seen so far in Europe, although also Moscow has taken steps to ban advertising. Outside Europe the city of Sao Paolo took the decision (in 2006) to ban all advertising; right now Sao Paolo is completely ad-free (and nobody seems to complain).


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