Poster advertising is a prominent ad trend in the release of 2007 statistics yesterday by the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia. An inappropriate poster ad was also the cause of bad press for Virgin in 2007.


Poster advertising is big business. The Sydney Morning Herald article today states: “Posters, for example, grew faster than the overall [Australian A$13.2 billion advertising] market, mainly due to the continued boom in bus shelter and street furniture advertising. Regional weekly newspapers also grew at a faster rate than the market.”

In the sister publication, The Australian Financial Review, Neil Shoebridge’s report today underlined the point about posters by making it his last paragraph: “Among traditional media, that is. Ignoring “new” media such as internet and pay TV, the outdoor ad sector recorded the fastest growth in 2007. Its ad revenue jumped 15.3% to A$436.5 million.”

Posters are part of a trend. Advertising is appearing in more and more places. Relatively new places for advertising of course include blogs, comparison shopping websites, and the sky with skywriters. All are affected by advertising regulation.

Media fragmentation is also seeing advertising, sponsorship and other types of marketing revenue become part of the revenue stream of more and more businesses.

Local councils for example sometimes claim a slice of street furniture advertising revenue.

Such new entrants are well advised to check their terms and conditions for acceptance of advertising lest they become joined in legal action against unlawful behaviour by the advertisers and advertising agencies.

Their exposure is not just for obvious concerns as regards the regulation of tobacco or alcohol advertising.

Virgin had this point driven home to it in 2007 when its street furniture advertising earned it very bad publicity because the photograph it used (of two teenager girls) was first released by one of the girls under a Creative Commons licence in Flickr. It was apparently released for non-commercial use (see the above Creative Commons licence types). Virgin was clearly affected, if not legally then by very bad publicity. But could local councils also be exposed if they did not require advertisers to comply with marketing laws and law generally?

Noric Dilanchian