Belfast Telegraph

Let's put the brakes on these fly advertisers

By Lindy McDowell

Most of us are all for a bit of enterprise. Most of us feel sympathy for businesses in these straightened times.

But how many of us facing imminent vehicle breakdown and being forced to pull over into the nearest lay-by would be thrilled to see that any available space there is being taken up by parked vans and lorries abandoned there by their drivers? For advertising purposes.

I've noticed this a lot recently. A couple of Sundays ago coming round a major motorway roundabout outside Belfast just about every available inch on the emergency lay-by was occupied by a whole variety of business vehicles presumably parked up so that the advertising slogans on their sides was prominently displayed.

Maybe I'm being unfair. Maybe by some dark commercial coincidence they did all break down at the same time.

But not any more, I suspect, than that lorry parked on the fly-over bridge over the dual carriageway or the van on the slip-lane just off another major road out of town. You could call it commercial braking.

But what happens if a car genuinely in trouble finds it impossible to pull in?

And a serious accident occurs? You or I wouldn't get off with it without the traffic wardens swooping.

And it's not that I'm entirely against guerrilla advertising. I notice one Belfast restaurant (no free ad here, sorry!) has adorned some of those electricity boxes you see on city streets with promos for its menu.

Adorned is, in this instance, the right word. They're really ornately beautiful in a vintage style.

How long they last is another matter ...

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