February 23, 2005 10:17 AM   Subscribe

NYC: In a city where advertising posters of all kinds regularly get defaced, sometimes to reveal the latent cultural politics, sometimes just for the humour of it, why does it seem like all of the NYC2012 Olympic Bid posters remain 100% pristine? (For those outside of the area, these are an extremely prolific series of posters presenting various pithy phrases in colored text over black.)
posted by nobody to Society & Culture (18 answers total)
My first thought would be that they're being replaced on a regular basis. Do they show weather damage?
posted by Kellydamnit at 10:26 AM on February 23, 2005

Maybe it has something to do with broken windows theory: 'Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows.' To prevent vandalism, then, fix problems when they are small or prevent them entirely. No one defaces the posters precisely because they are in pristine condition.
posted by driveler at 10:31 AM on February 23, 2005

I'd not noticed that, myself. I'll pay more attention. Perhaps they are being replaced more regularly. I hope it's not because everyone thinks the Olympics in NYC is a good idea.
posted by papercake at 10:36 AM on February 23, 2005

I've seen two defaced, both in Brooklyn. Technically, it was the case on one that was defaced (scratchitti). The other was in my subway stop on the G, where every poster that goes up gets some additional "commentary". It's not me.
posted by safetyfork at 10:37 AM on February 23, 2005

That's heartening, safetyfork. Can you recall what the 'commentary' was?
posted by nobody at 10:52 AM on February 23, 2005

Black posters and those withouth faces tend to get less defacing, in my experience.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:00 AM on February 23, 2005

Most of the writing I see on posters is in thick black ink, like a sharpie. The black background is a deterrent.

90% of the poster-defacing that I observe involves captions/speech balloons given to the people in the ads. I suspect there are easier targets for the would-be scribble artist than black-background, model-free, product-free ads.

The more I consider this, the more I wonder if this was intentional on the part of the ad agency and NYC2012 Creative Council. Wouldn't photos of Olympic hopefuls be somewhat more inspirational, but also more apt to be defaced? And we wouldn't want the IOC to see that during their visit...
posted by hsoltz at 11:22 AM on February 23, 2005

It's been exactly the same in London and I've only just realised that through your post. I would imagine that any posters that have been defaced would be replaced pretty sharpish, especially with the Olympic Commitee currently doing the rounds. It will be interesting to see what happens to the Olympic bid posters now the commitee have passed through....
posted by floanna at 12:21 PM on February 23, 2005

On a related note, can anyone explain to me what "there will be friends and friends of friends to guide you" or "someone will fall in love" have to do with New York hosting the Olympics?
posted by 4easypayments at 2:21 PM on February 23, 2005

White Permanent-Ink Markers might remedy the situation...
posted by five fresh fish at 2:28 PM on February 23, 2005

nobody, I think it was just tagged, probably for reasons Mo Nickels and hsoltz gave. Other posters in the station contain more commentary-like commentary--it's really one of the more entertaining aspects of that stop. (If I can remember to check I'll keep my eye out for it on the way home tonight).
posted by safetyfork at 2:31 PM on February 23, 2005

I also think along with the black background/black ink problem, is that the campaign for this Olympic thing has been expanding, so a lot of the posters are just new.
posted by scazza at 3:14 PM on February 23, 2005

can anyone explain to me what "there will be friends and friends of friends to guide you"

The idea behind that one, I believe, is that athletes and officials from every country will find flocks of their countrymen living in NY - a ready-made on-site cheering section to welcome them. It's a pretty smart angle. The love thing I can't help you with.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:18 PM on February 23, 2005

The poster I remembered wasn't there. There was another bid related poster at the stop, un-marked. This morning, the L / Lorimer stop has a bid poster with some stickers on it (manhattan bound side). Didn't look like specific commentary, just gunked-up. Don't know if I misremembered the first poster or if it was replaced.
posted by safetyfork at 7:02 AM on February 24, 2005

Update: Last night near BAM I finally saw a parody poster/flyer pasted to a bus-stop structure. Same formatting: the text was something like "The Billionaires Will Get Richer."
posted by nobody at 9:01 AM on February 24, 2005

This morning, G stop, on the way in (instead of the way home where I looked the other day): "olympics = evictions" in blue scrawl.
posted by safetyfork at 6:30 AM on February 25, 2005

Last night, at the LES/Houston V stop, on the way out I saw one that a had a large white sticker (bigger than Pop Tart) stuck in the middle: WE DON'T NEED YOUR FUCKING STADIUM.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:07 PM on February 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

posted by nobody at 8:58 AM on March 4, 2005

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