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Leeds council trials dirty streets graffiti adverts

December 6, 2010 12:00 AM

Leeds Lib Dem street cleaning spokesman James Monaghan (Lib Dem, Headingley) has criticised a new council advertising trial that makes use of the 'reverse graffiti' technique.

The trial involves cleaning selected parts of dirty buildings or street furniture to form an advertising message. This type of graffiti has been common in Leeds since 2009 and the council has until now taken enforcement action against organisations who carry it out.

Leeds City Council is working on the pilot with advertising company Curb Media who specialise in this form of graffiti. Curb will be allowed to place adverts in selected areas authorised by the council. In return the council will get a share of the advertising revenue. The trial will run for a year from January 2011 and will see adverts placed in some of the city's busiest pedestrian streets including Boar Lane, Park Row and the streets around Millennium Square.

Cllr Monaghan, claimed the new policy sent out a confused message on graffiti. He said:

"At best this trial sends out a conflicted message, at worst it is just plain hypocrisy.

"The council's streetscene team have in the past rightly considered this form of advertising as graffiti and have taken enforcement action against companies who do it. But now it seems that they've given up on this approach so they can exploit it for a quick buck.

"It seems bizarre to me that the council is trying make a virtue of the fact its pavements are dirty. Instead of using dirty streets for advertising, why don't they just clean them instead?"