I just found this awesome add-on for Firefox that replaces internet ads with art! It's called Add-Art and it's free.
I just downloaded it, and this is how it looks:
|The picture of the kids is where the ad would have been--poetry websites have the worst ads. They often have sound, but it seems that Add-Art eliminates the sound, too.|
So far, most of the art consists of surprisingly un-arty photos, because the current installation, See Space, was created by children ages 6-15 at an after school program. But it's still fun, and the collection changes periodically.
The average United Statesian sees thousands of advertisements each day. In Europe, there is a ban on advertisements that 'exhort children to purchase or to ask their parents or others to make inquiries or purchases' and in Sweden all advertisements aimed at children under 12 are banned.
In 2007, Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city, banned all outdoor advertisements, including pamphlets, in an attempt to reduce "visual pollution."
|Sao Paulo before and after the advertising ban|
Once the billboards were all taken down, there was a lot of waste, which Brazilian designers TOUCH and StraaT made tote bags out of.
Some ideas on how to combat advertisements:
1. Try a Buy Nothing Day, and maybe even invite others to do it with you. It might be harder than you'd expect.
2. Avoid buying from big companies:
For clothes, try thrift shops
For food, try farm stands and small grocery stores (especially ones that offer local food)
For gifts, make something by hand
For hygiene products, make them yourself (from items bought at small grocery stores)
For gas... bike? Take the train? When you do need gas, it's probably better to buy from an independently-owned gas station, like Easton Gas
3. Download Add-Art so at least you won't have to look at ads when you're on the computer.
Any other ideas?