It was very heartening to read John Shannon’s column on the growth of giant posters in Europe (MW October 5). Particularly, as he points out, the scale and simplicity of the images cuts through the ever-increasing high-tech clutter and makes an immediate impact on passers-by.
As the company that produced and installed the Sam Taylor-Wood artwork shrouding Selfridges, we appreciate his kind comments about the banner, but would like to point out that the giant poster medium still faces planning problems in parts of London.
A store clad in scaffolding can put up a giant ad for itself, or an attention-grabbing artwork to retain a presence in the High Street, but cannot lease the space to another advertiser without council permission. This is seldom forthcoming from authorities such as Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea and advertisers are now testing the water by putting up ads for the month or so it takes for a decision to come through. They feel a huge presence in the heart of the city, not normally available for advertising, is worth it even for a short run.
We feel, however, it is time for London Councils to reassess the situation in the light of public opinion and the constant renovation of the city. Our research shows us people actually like the big images as part of the urban landscape and prefer them to blank webbing. They also recognise they are temporary and part of the changing metropolis.
Other leading cities in the UK, along with places such as New York, Barcelona, Milan and Berlin accept this medium as part of a modern city and value the economic contribution it makes to urban regeneration.
Giant posters are now the fastest-growing sector in outdoor advertising and, as the country’s leading contractor in the field, we hope advertisers will soon be able to enjoy a wide selection of sites in London as they do elsewhere in the UK and abroad.