Removing Dan Carter’s underwear
Yesterday, Auckland City Council took the first step towards banning advertising billboards in the city centre.
Apparently, the thinking behind this move is that the ban, if ratified next May, will help make Auckland an “international city”, though quite how isn’t clear. Adverts such as the one featuring All Black Dan Carter in his underwear are popular talking points in the streets and around watercoolers for obvious reasons. However, those promoting the ban claim that folks would prefer the opportunity to appreciate naked buildings and the urban landscape than a near-naked Mr Carter. Let’s be honest, architects and city planners, your neat cornice work and fancy window details just don’t have the same eye-candy appeal as a 200ft rugby player or supermodel in the skinny.
The proposed bylaw would see billboards disappear from Hobson St across to Anzac Ave, Britomart, Karangahape Rd and the Viaduct Harbour. It would also mean the removal of billboards from around retail areas like Newmarket, Ponsonby, Parnell, Otahuhu and around the Valley Rd shops in Dominion Rd.
I can see both sides but I’m still not sure about the move making Auckland an international city. Having lived, worked and visited a good many cities around the globe, I have found funny, inventive billboards a common sight – and not one that necessarily detracts from the landscape. On the contrary, I doubt Piccadilly Circus or Times Square would have the same tourist pull without the billboards and neon lights.
As the advertisers would say, watch this space.