You might remember the Special Patrol Group from their subversive Bullshit Jobs ads on the London Underground or the #Dontvote posters that appeared across the capital in the days before last year’s general election.
Now the balls of steel art-activists are back with the Global Ad Hack Manifesto, which they’ve just unveiled at Glastonbury Festival’s Shangri-La.
It’s the first salvo of a worldwide battle to ban all outdoor advertising, so we reached out to our anonymous contact on the inside to find out more.
“Advertising is harmful for both the individual and society so we are calling for a worldwide ban on all outdoor advertising,” the masked assailant explains. “As citizens we have some degree of choice in how we consume advertising through other forms of media, but outdoor advertising is forced upon us, and at a dazzling rate. Not only does advertising frequently promote negative stereotypes, it dominates our visual realm and privileges extrinsic behaviours over intrinsic – it turns our collective story into one of individualistic consumption over collective creativity.”
“The SPG believe that nobody should be able to monopolise our cultural narrative in this way, but especially not mega-rich hucksters after yet another buck,” he or she continues. “We are calling for citizens to take direct action against outdoor advertising by removing, replacing and defacing it, which is both legally and morally defensible.”
In addition to launching their #AdHackManifesto at Glastonbury, the London-based operatives were simultaneously out on the streets of London on Friday night. They reclaimed around 20 outdoor advertising spaces to promote the No Pride in War campaign on behalf of Veterans for Peace UK and Act Up London, who are protesting against the militarisation of the London Pride march.