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Brands start co-opting public space

December 4, 2005

As Influx explained back in June, the emerging debate over the use of graffiti by brands. It’s obviously become acceptable to use graffiti inside a “commercial frame” (on a billboard or in a TV spot). There are thousands of examples of these.

The debate that started in the UK and has since moved to these shores is about the use of non-commercial space to display commercial graffiti messages. The latest discussion involves the “use” of street graffiti by Sony for their PSP hand-held gadget.

As predicted there are two camps; the purists and those that think any form of support for the art form should be welcomed.

Wooster Collective, a brilliant site dedicated to the arts of the street, has some of its readers comments on the issue here.

This debate is bound to continue as brands look for new ways to insert themselves in cool culture. Shifting from commercial to public space is one such tactic. It will be interesting to see which other big brands dare to follow Sony’s lead.

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