virus: culture jammers

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Tue, 1 Jul 1997 19:45:30 -0700 (PDT)

Those of you in the Seattle area should take a look at this last
Thursday's _Stranger_ if you haven't already. There's an article in it by
Wm. Steven Humphreys about his adventure with a local group of memetic
guerillas who modify billboards to undermine the advertising messages.
Interestingly, this tactic's effect continues long after the billboard has
been restored or replaced. Today I saw a billboard for some company's
cellular phone service, and instantly mentally changed the "I thought I
could live without a fax machine, too!" to their vandalized version, "I
thought I could live without an electronic leash, too!" Mostly they
attack cigarette ads, apparently. Similar in flavor to some of the things
_Adbusters_ does, but, of course, outright illegal rather than merely
annoying to the advertisers. Also broader audience, though localized.