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What would be the most effective way to take down a billboard?

Submitted by sudo in AntiAdvertiserAction

Here are my ideas so far:

At night, go to the billboard you want to take down. It will probably have a power cable running up the side of it, to power the lights. Cut that cable.

Now that the lights are off, set up your stepladder, so that you can reach the elevated ladder on the side of the billboard. Climb all the way up.

As far as I know, the actual "bill" itself is just a piece of cloth or tarp draped over the board. So, it seems like you should be able to cut it. I would use normal scissors to cut away the bottom part, and some type of long-reach pruning shears to cut away the sides. Not sure what to do about the top - maybe a few good yanks would take care of that (but be careful that it doesn't fall on you, and knock you off the catwalk). You could also try setting it on fire, but that seems way too dangerous to you, and the fire might spread to other things you don't want to catch on fire, like a nearby forest.

Does anyone have any better ideas on how to do this?

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throwaway_molotov wrote

Not a direct answer, but related:

I like the idea of modifying billboards so they show subversive messages. This can be done obviously or subtly. For example there was a billboard near me advertising Skye internet as "horror free". I wanted to spraypaint something like "stop selling weapones to turkey, make Syria =>" with an arrow pointing to the words "horror free". But I chickened out and they changed the billboard. I think this term is called culture bombing but that didn't turn up what I was looking for when I searched it. Adbusters had a big campaign around this sort of stuff back in the day.

Peeps in Oakland have also been tearing down billboards and turning them into tiny houses for peeps on the streets: http://narrative.ly/this-graffiti-artist-is-tearing-down-billboards-and-turning-them-into-shelters-for-the-homeless/

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

This seems pretty good.

I don't think it's unusual where I'm from for there to be more security measures guarding billboards, from fencing to cameras. Unfortunately also there are a lot of cameras in general around where I live so it's quite daunting.

My preference where possible (also because it may well be faster to do), would be to plan ahead a design détournement of the billboard. I'm not sure if it's specifically desirable for you to take it down rather than détournement. I think detournement makes more of a statement than just an empty billboard, which probably won't be recognised as a political act by bystanders.

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sudo wrote

I could see that working better for some of the more objectionable billboards, like a military recruitment ad.