I used to feel a bit icky seeing an American advertiser exploit a cultural monument in some cheesy demeaning way to hawk their wares. It always seemed a bit tactless on our part. But after my latest trip through the métro I can now rest assured it’s a global affliction; it seems the local admen here are just as willing to sacrifice even the holiest of holies to schlep instant taters and breakfast cereal. Not only that, I think they’ve managed to reach new levels of complete degradation of a national skyline:
As a side note in case you missed it, take a real close look at the bottom left of the Eiffel Tower and you’ll see the location of a small replica of our own Statue of Liberty. Its proximity to Eiffel’s masterpiece is more relevant than you might think—he himself designed the statue’s internal framework before it was gifted to New York. There’s another replica sitting in the Luxembourg gardens, and I once had a surprise run-in with the third which I photographed here.
Back to the subway. I thought I’d seen the worst of it until a day later when the same company erected this inspiring work of genius:
This one is so bad it’s almost good. Their slogan is “Now our products come to you”. It evokes in me zero desire to buy milk, but it does give the urge to write a letter:
Dear grocery store,
How about not?
The Byzantine Architecture Is Enough.