Total Ban on Billboards

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In the past two days after Typhoon Milenyo ravaged Metro Manila, I was able to drive around the city and take a few photos of the devastation including Fallen billboards (Milenyo” toppled at least 30 billboards in the metropolis)

When the influx of billboards invaded Metro Manila highways , the sight suffocated me. What an eyesore! I don’t know with you but I don’t enjoy watching these ads. I guess it was the visual pollution that got to me. Too much visual clutter or clutter surrounding my confines disorient me. I need to see a blue skies of the horizon and the landspace as far as my eyesight can see. But no, the billboards loom in front of me taunting me to purchase or be loyal to their products or service.The use of provocative images like Bench Ads, the old Bayantel Satisfaction guarantee ad, and many others infuriated me. Not only are these billboards an eyesore, it’s a motorist distraction which could lead to accidents and injuries. Three months ago, the work towards the ban on billboard gained media coverage. When I blogged about the ban on billboards , Bayani Fernando initiated the dismantling of these billboards. But some local mayor arrested the MMDA workers and Bayani got smacked with a restraining order to cease and desist the dismantling. Why? Because these ad agencies have the right to recoup their investments on their gigantic billboards. Or are they protecting the pockets of the local government conspirators? Never in their wildest imagination did the judges consider that these billboards can cause possible deaths and inconvenience to the public. True, business need to be protected but not to the detriment of the public good.

Before typhoon Milenyo struck Metro Manila, a few accidents already occured such as a house crushed under the weight of the towering giant and that time the Metro Rail Transit came to a halt when the billboard landed on its tracks and caused an electrical short. Still there was no action taken by the local government. Afraid of losing revenue ? or money in their pockets?

Did it take Typhoon Milenyo to finally make them realize the dangers of these gigantic billboards?

With the death of a driver from a killer billboard in EDSA, local government officials are now all for the ban of billboards.

What can I say. I told you so” says Bayani Fernando as he supervised the cleaning operations.

killer billboard
The Billboard (now partially removed) that killed a driver in a van along EDSA, Estrella St in Makati City

One of my daughters is leery of the existing trusses that withstood the ravaging wrath of Typhoon Milenyo. Are these structures stable after it was shaken by Typhoon Milenyo? she quips. I fear for the safety of everyone who pass along the major thoroughfares in Metro Manila. Another typhoon is forecasted to arrive in the next 4 days. What if one of these structures fall down? Should we wait for another disaster to happen?

before billboardafter billboardBefore and After Photos of a Billboard ad in Ortigas Avenue/C5
As of this writing, most of the tarpaulins have not been unfolded for public view. If the ad agencies place these back up, I will only be reminded of the deaths , injuries, property damage, and potential dangers. When I see a billboard ad of say “a restaurant”, I will view this ad with anger and disdain.

In the past, these ad agencies discovered that billboard ad campaign worked to develop brand loyalty and product recall. Let us tell these advertising agencies that their billboard ads will not work for us anymore. Let them find a more effective marketing campaign. Like provide better services or products should be a start. Or they can choose from dozens of advertising vehicles ranging from flyers to cable television.

We , the consumers need to do our share to work towards the ban of billboard ads along congested and major thoroughfares nationwide. Let’s not wait for another death or accident to happen. Boycott products/ads that are plastered in these killer billboards. Make Noise. Blog about it.

(Edit October 3– Citing data from the Outdoor Advertisers Association of the Philippines (OAAP, Santiago named Globe Telecom, Bench, Marlboro, Chowking, Penshoppe, Jollibee, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Smart Communications, Greenwich and Tokyo-Tokyo as the top 10 billboard advertisers.)

View related typhoon Milenyo entries:
1. Death by Advertisement
2. Typhoon Milenyo Aftermath in Makati City Village
3. Typhoon Milenyo Aftermath Photos
4. Photos of Fallen billboard Trusses

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

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  • I completely agree with you. Those billboards should be removed! I don’t understand what the hell we need them for anyway. Does everything nowadays have to be about advertising?

    Those billboards are ugly, dangerous, and are a major distraction to motorists. Besides, the ad firms are just wasting their money with them. With a huge number of them hogging a small space, all they provide is information overload. Consumers aren’t really lured into buying the products and services promoted.

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  • Naz

    I hate to say this, but greed over safety is prevalent if not throughout, from the top down the line in our country. It is one of the reasons preventing many, including myself, in returning for good. Maybe your blog and the rest of the bloggers blogging against those billboards will create awareness and stir things up.

  • Hopefully, the tragedy of the driver will make them come to their senses. It’s just now that I realize after reading this that here in Winnipeg, the billboards are nothing compared to the ones there. The billboards here are small but enough to be seen and read my commuters. And nothing that portrays sexual innuendos. I remember you posted something about the companies using sex to sell their products.

  • I mean I haven’t seen sexual innuendos on the billboards here because some do sell sex on commercials and advertisements on magazines.

  • ciguro mas maganda kung higpitan lang ang policies sa pagpapatayo ng billboards. Dagdag kita din ito ng mga local governments.

  • @cyberpunk- the ultimate greediness.

    @Naz – greed how true it is! No wonder a lot of our countrymen are so disillusioned

    @niceheart- We don’t need gigantic billboards. It’s so tacky….after I wrote that entry re Bayantel Ad:
    it was changed

    @SELaplana- I’m sure they will enforce stringent rules this time

  • Nice site, just passing by. Good luck with the Webbies. Cheers.

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  • I am for total ban on billboards. They are eye-sores. Many people’s lives were affected because of accidents caused by billboards.

  • Billboards no, AdSense yes. The latter doesn’t crush people to death.

  • @Lani- At first it was just for aesthetic reasons that bothered me. Now it’s more than that. These are killer billboards

    @Mike- hehe they should use google ads ! Right?

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  • Eugene Suria

    Why need giant billboard,mahihina na ba MATA natin?

  • @Eugene- that’s what I was thinking too. We don’t need huge billboards

  • Sef

    I go for total ban on billboards! But I am sure nothing would happen. Our politicians, most of them who uses billboards for political advertisements, would not do anything to ban it. So what can we ordinary citizens do?

  • Vincent Villamil

    Hi. My name is Vince from the University of the Philippines Diliman. I am graduating and doing my Thesis in Geography. My working title is ‘Life and Property Hazards caused by Billboards: A Risk-Analysis Prescription’

    I am looking for people to collaborate with me and help in gathering concrete information with a hope in proposing a law/policy to be used in the construction of billboards. In this light, I am humbly asking for any help you could give. Pictures, people I could interview, REFERRALS to fellow bloggers, victims and family of victims, and the like. I’ve been researching blogs since last week and I found it has affected even the online society.

    Please let me know if this is of interest to you. My email is [email protected].

    Thank you so much. God speed.

    I admire you so much on your work.

  • emilson

    hi! I’am Emilson, a student of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. I’m doing my term paper entiled “Billboard: Advertisement of Death”…thank you c0z I’ve used your article as my reference. I’m looking for other aticles. Can you send me some?

    [email protected]

  • Che

    hi, i was just wondering if you knew if there are any board or commission regulating billboards or print ads?