May 21, 2004
Stick No Bills

This statement is, in itself, invitation to stick something - surely? The grammar doesn’t seem right. And the term “bill” in this context appears to be dated in today’s 21st century information age - where urban work, life and recreation is ablaze with banner ads, TV ads, posters, URLs on the side of every bus, train, truck, van and delivery bike.

And yet - our local authorities use those words to deter “unauthorised” posters in our streets and municipal structures (like the green boxes that house the cable TV circuitry at the end of every street). Casual observation seems to suggest that it doesn’t really work - flyposters post their “bills” there anyway. In our area the topics being advertised vary from the very amateur - e.g. a local wannabe Punjabi Hit Squad in the making holding a disco/DJ night in a few weeks time - to the more heavyweight promotions of major concerts or Bollywood films.

And one thing I’ve noticed is that - a bit like how people breaking the speed limit on the motorway will tend to stick together in a pack - the illegal posters have a habit of “congregating” around certain walls.

Congregation of unauthorised posters
(In this case - on a disused advertising hoarding on a side street off a main road)

Posted by jag at May 21, 2004 10:39 PM

I think in many ways London would be visually poorer without the clustered posters - some of them are great designs, especially the concert/new album posters. Around our area, you often get people doing some quite amazing graffiti on top of them, too.…in the style of Banksy and the like. It actually looks really cool, half the time. Kind of adds to the buzz I get sometimes of living in a vibrant diverse area, too. (OK, you could also read that as ‘a CHEAP area’, I just like to put a positive spin on it ;-P)

Posted by: sue on May 22, 2004 06:59 PM

Hi Sue - Couldn’t agree more re the buzz etc. Well - the “cheaper” areas are definitely more vibrant/diverse etc. - and this is exactly what makes London the coolest city in the world. Can you imagine what London would be like if it was just one big South Kensington, Chelsea or Pinner?

Posted by: Jag on May 22, 2004 08:57 PM

Yeah, I agree, I love the diverse range of ‘bills’ I think that as a student that wants to be a designer I love to see all of the diverse colours and designs, they arent as common here, and its a shame.…

Posted by: PeterJ on May 28, 2004 11:17 PM

Hi Peter - thanks for your comment. Where is “here” for you then?

Posted by: Jag on May 29, 2004 01:50 PM

I note the wording of the admonition has changed over the years, because the traditional warning that ‘Bill Stickers Will Be Prosecuted’ would invariably be countered by a retaliatory ‘Bill Stickers Is Innocent’.

Posted by: Matt on June 5, 2004 08:35 PM

Hi Matt - indeed - altough I have to admit that I haven’t seen the counter-statement - I am somewhat empathic with the defiance in the sentiment - just as long as it’s not on my wall! :-)

Posted by: Jag on June 5, 2004 10:56 PM
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