Tuesday, 3 April 2018

More shroud advertisements

Those of you who have followed this blog over a long period will be aware that from time to time I have published examples of shroud advertisements displayed on buildings that are undoubtedly major heritage assets in cities such as Venice, Paris and Brussels. The point of publishing these views is to demonstrate that our European friends do not share our squeamishness about erecting temporary shroud advertising around buildings that are undergoing major refurbishment.

I was in Paris again last week, and found several more examples of shroud advertising displayed on such buildings while major building works are being carried out. The first example is on the South Front of the Palais du Louvre.

Next, we have shroud advertisements displayed on the buildings facing onto the Place de la Concorde, and also on the return frontage to the Rue Royale.

Only a few metres further north, at the end of the Rue Royale, is the Church of the Madaleine, where this shroud advertising is displayed:

As it says on the advertisements themselves, En application de l’article L621-29-8 du code du patrimoine, les recettes perçues par le propriétaire du monument pour cet affichage sont affectées au financement des travaux, which seems an eminently sensible arrangement.

The essential point is that these shroud advertisements are purely temporary, and are displayed for only so long as the works continue. To take a previous example, on Wednesday, 16 April 2014, I illustrated a shroud advertisement at the north-east corner of the Place des Vosges.

The works covered by that shroud have long since been completed, and so this important historic building can now be seen in its fully restored state, after the advertisement had made a significant contribution to the restoration works. This is what it looked like last week (and no doubt for the past several years):

If such advertisements can be displayed on the shrouds around important historic buildings in World Heritage Sites like these while they are under repair, there is no reason whatsoever why we should not allow similar advertising in this country.

There was an encouraging example of an advertisement control appeal being allowed recently for precisely this type of advertising, but having to rely on obtaining advertisement control consent, possibly on appeal, is too chancy and too time-consuming for most advertisers to contemplate. What is required instead is an amendment of the Control of Advertisements Regulations to give deemed consent for this type of advertising. The deemed consent would be purely temporary, limited to the duration of the works or 12 months (whichever is shorter), and would be subject to the advertisement not being wider or higher than the building covered by the shroud. For the avoidance of doubt, it should perhaps be provided that this deemed consent would not authorise the erection of any separate hoarding or other structure, and the deemed consent would require the immediate removal of the advertisement upon the expiry of the temporary period of that consent. To avoid LPAs making difficulties, there should be no requirement for prior approval, nor should the subject matter or design of the advertisement or advertisements be subject to any control under the terms of this deemed consent.

So come on, Raab; let's get on with it! This government prides itself on sweeping away red tape, so let’s see an appropriate amendment to the Control of Advertisements Regulations to give deemed consent for shroud advertisements in these circumstances without further ado.



  1. There are a few of these about in London. One recently granted 12 month approval on appeal in Brixton has been erected with an advertisement inset within the shroud (albeit the shroud is not exactly as approved).

    The difficulty is in actually establishing that these are not just speculative opportunities for adverts in high profile locations that would otherwise never be granted ADV consent, but are actually part of achieving refurbishment of a derelict façade.

  2. I have failed previously to respond to the comment of WS on 12 April.

    What I have in mind is a carefully drafted amendment to the Control of Advertisements Regs that makes the qualifying criteria perfectly clear, so as to avoid any loopholes being created.

    Having said that, I really don't think there can be any objection to a commercial profit being made from this type of advertising. In fact, I don't think a contribution to the costs of refurbishment is essential, although that seems to be the practice in France. Since the building's owner will receive a fee from the advertising company in any event, this is likely in most cases to offset to some extent the cost of the works to the building.

    The purpose of this change would be to allow the eye-sore created by shrouded building works to be covered by a neat and possibly visually striking advertisement, like the ones illustrated both is this blog post and in previous items I have posted on this topic. The essential point, which those who object to this type of advertising overlook is that it is purely temporary. No-one is suggesting permanent or even long-term displays of this type of advertising.