The Need for Brands to Co-Exist as Citizens

Marc Gobé, marketing pioneer, is concerned about the impact of outdoor advertising on brands.  In this talk for the Sustainable Brands 2011 Conference, he discusses how the dominating presence of billboards injures goodwill for the brands that advertise.

In the video Gobé discusses the alienating effect of outdoor advertising on citizens, and the impact this has on the brands that use outdoor advertising.  The tendency of the billboard industry not to take “no” for an answer, illegally erecting billboards and removing trees that obscure the view to those billboards impacts the public’s opinion of the brands advertised, more than of the billboard companies themselves.

Gobé concludes the talk by calling on brands to give citizens their cities back, by following the lead of cities like Sao Paulo and Houston; cities once plagued by billboards, and now home to thriving economies, prestigious companies, and tremendous increases in population and retail sales.  His prescription for generating goodwill for brands:

  1. Don’t support illegal billboards; don’t let the public associate your brand with flouting the law.
  2. Don’t work with billboard companies that cut trees to clear views of their signs; these practices solidify the public’s sense of billboards as pollution.
  3. Don’t sponsor billboard companies that use the court system to support illegal billboards.