Who: Greater Lyon metropolitan area, France
What: Bans digital advertising screens, ban on large-format tarp advertising and roof-top advertising, a reduction in the number and maximum size of advertising boards (including the removal of the 120 digital ad screens from the subway in spring 2024).
When: June 26, 2023
After 5 years of fighting, Lyon's anti-advertising movement celebrates the victory it achieved thanks to the mobilization of its citizens. On June 26, 2023, the RLPi (Règlement local de la publicité intercommunal, the local advertising regulation) of the Greater Lyon metropolitan area was definitively approved. It bans digital ad screens, the main demand of anti-advertising campaigners.
General reduction of advertising pressure
In addition to the ban of digital ad screens, other measures include a ban on large-format tarp advertising and roof-top advertising, as well as a reduction in the number and maximum size of advertising boards. As a new feature of recent legislation, the metropolis also regulates some aspects of commercial showcases screens. Unless this can be prohibited, the use of showcases for digital advertising is likely to be less attractive for advertisers. In addition to the RLPi, the metropolis has also announced the removal of the 120 digital ad screens from the subway in spring 2024.
5 years of citizen mobilization
Since 2017, the association R.A.P. (Résistance à l'Agression Publicitaire) and the Plein La Vue collective have been mobilizing around this Local Advertising Regulation (RLPi). It all began on November 29, 2017, when R.A.P. launched a video mobilizing for advertising sobriety with Partager C'est Sympa. A petition named "Des arbres pas es pubs! Libérons la métropole lyonnaise de la pression publicitaire" ("Trees not ads! Let's free Lyon's metropolis from advertising pressure") was also sent to the President of the metropolis. The Plein La Vue collective was launched, bringing together citizens and action groups to achieve its objectives. The petition quickly took off, a dynamic was born! Advocacy, citizen expertise, awareness-raising, action and mobilization were all carried out locally. This citizens' movement has used a wide variety of non-violent action tactics (to find out more about the history of actions: click here).
Action groups want to go even further
However, the associations insist on tempering their defense of the RLPi project and call on local representatives to strengthen it with improvement measures. Anthony Geoffroy, co-president of the Plein La Vue collective and spokesman for R.A.P. insists: "While we talk about sobriety, it's absurd to leave luminous advertising on our territory. We are asking the metropolis to ban it. We also need to prepare for the end of the street furniture contract with JC Decaux, set for 2032, with the aim of enabling our public services to function without further dependence on the harmful and costly billboard advertising industry".