Verizon Sidewalk Graffiti

While we can debate if bOrf was an artist or a vandal, there can be no mistaking the stencils I noticed on my walk to work today.

Those spray-painted ads for Verizon’s Yellow Pages along the K Street sidewalk – that would be graffiti, straight up and ugly.

Now I wanna know – how did that get on the sidewalk? And why isn’t the District suing Verizon to clean up it’s defacing of District property?

9 Comments so far

  1. jen m. (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 8:53 am

    are you sure it was spray painted on, rather than done with chalk or some other non-permanent substance? usually corporate graffiti like that is non-permanent.

  2. wayan (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 8:56 am

    Taking the Mayor up on his Citywide Graffiti Call Center, I’ve logged the tags for removal.

    Wanna follow along? It’s Case Number 1164265.

  3. wayan (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 8:58 am


    It’s spray paint all right. You can see the stencil outline if you look at the photo closely. Also, I asked a passing DC Clean crew about the tags, and they said they’ve already tried and failed to remove the paint.

  4. John Grillo (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 9:07 am

    I believe it’s called Guerrilla Marketing – a advertising technique using minimum resources to generate maximum effect. Like Jen M. said, corporate graff is commonly made up of spray on water-based chalk. The next rain storm should wash it away. Check out the Wikipedia article on the subject ( ) for some more information.

    The fact that Verizon has engaged in this practice in DC is probably explained by the new MCI Center renaming.

  5. wayan (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 9:13 am

    I know its guerrilla marketing, and I would be cool with it if it wasn’t defacing public property. Vandalism is not marketing and that’s not rain-washable chalk.

  6. Tiff (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 9:15 am

    I thought maybe bOrf has just gotten a job with Verizon Marketing…

  7. Illusioned (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 9:31 am

    Damn, the man comes back from vacation and he’s on a rampage. :)

  8. rizz (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 9:58 am

    i wouldnt be surprised if they got permission from the dc gov’t to do part of the mci renaming deal..or just buy paying more money.

  9. jen m. (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 11:36 am

    i wouldn’t be surprised if they had permission either. now that would be an interesting topic for a post – to uncover whether this is another example of government selling public space and the public interest to profit corporations. like pepsi machines in public schools.

    if not, verizon obviously is confident that whatever penalty it may face for vandalism will be less costly than the benefit they will gain from the vandalism. corporations consciously choose to break the law under these circumstances all the time. businesses profit from ignoring federal labor and immigration laws all the time.

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