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Troubling Spot


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Troubling Spot
Troubling Spot

How does road advertising affect drivers? Correspondents of “Behind the Wheel” went along the streets of the city together with an expert psychologist to assess the impact of an advertising kaleidoscope.


12.00. We leave the editorial office in order to complete the “lap of honor” that is very frequent in our raids on the capital's Garden Ring. On Sukharevskaya Square, the photocor throws up a camera. I’m distracted by its movement - before that I didn’t react to advertisements, I thought that if I was driving, you won’t distract me with some kind of advertising.

My position is explained by Olga Savina, candidate of psychological sciences: "Outdoor advertising producers primarily rely on passengers, not on active participants in the movement." At the same time, its full part - pedestrians for advertisers is generally not the target audience. Nevertheless, it happens to see a provincial staring at a billboard right at the zebra crossing. He honked - he does not break away from advertising.

“A man is arranged in such a way,” the psychologist makes it clear, “that his consciousness is capable of quickly remembering information.” But he reacts actively to her only for the first time. It was then that he was exposed to all stages of advertising and informational impact. In the same billboard, no matter how bright it may be, in the future it is already distracted not so. Information from it was “read” by your consciousness even earlier.


12.45. We drive into the tunnel under Mayakovsky Square. Above your head, under the signs - "self-promotion" of the traffic police. I don’t have time to read what the traffic cops are calling for - the font is too small (especially in comparison with the coffee advertisement in the neighborhood), but the photo camera helps: “It is written that non-compliance with the rules is the cause of the accident”. Important information when entering the tunnel!

“You are ironic in vain,” our psychologist tries to remain serious. - Now try to find a turn now onto Krasin Street. Just orient yourself faster - he’s nearby.

We leave in the right lane, reduce the speed. In four eyes we are trying to read small letters on poles with arrows. The expert, seeing our torment, prompts:

- This is the first turn to the right.

And there is. Only the name of the street is reliably disguised as signs advertising three companies located nearby. If there hadn’t been a “navigator,” this turn would have flown by and would not have noticed.


05/13. Suddenly we find ourselves in some way an emergency situation. On Novinsky Boulevard I’m trying to rebuild to the left to go into the tunnel under Novy Arbat. But I was almost thrown into the arms of an accident by the dazzling smile of a girl with a red mug of coffee. A hefty shield is fixed on board the Gazelle, which famously fits into the stream. I turn away from surprise and almost fly into … an advertising agency that urges you to drop everything and go to Cyprus. She painted on board the trolley. I slow down, letting the horned into the tunnel. Advertising media calmly roll in front - side to side.


14.50. We turn to the center. On Maroseyka, 500 meters from the Kremlin, heavy traffic in two lanes. From adjoining alleys, cars are trying to squeeze into the stream. And it was necessary to hang a hefty plasmatron here! Although obviously a traffic light is needed: a snail crawling traffic jam that the reckless people strive to drive around on the oncoming one, and then there is a trolley bus, then “sovereign people” with “flashing lights”, and even pedestrians try to cross the road! And above all this, the screen encourages you to buy something, to vote for someone.

4 p.m. The photographer disassembles the equipment, the expert looks through his notes. Trying to scroll through raid episodes in my head. Is the advertisement tired?

“And you will understand this only in the evening,” Olga Savina “encourages” me. - During these four hours, your brain received a lot of information. He is not able to evaluate and analyze everything. But in the evening, when you go home, the "wealth" of advertising media will again fall upon you …

Which of the fact that the negative impact of advertising on traffic safety does not concern the city authorities. Get to the rules, as the traffic police calls for. Posted, by the way, in the place where the driver is actually required to concentrate as much as possible.


Traffic police officers, "responsible" for the Garden Ring, shared with us that they are not able to somehow regulate the installation of outdoor advertising. There are no statistics based on which we can draw conclusions about the effect of advertising on the number of accidents. But there is experience … Moreover, inspectors conducting a “debriefing” seem to be obliged, drawing up a protocol, to enter “advertising impact” in the column “external conditions for the occurrence of accidents”. Along with visibility, rain, sleet, dark or light time of day. But - do not do it. Why?

Probably for the same reason that numerous decisions (in particular, the Moscow government) on strengthening control over advertising are not working.

It turns out that for roads in different parts of Moscow, differentiated advertising parameters are adopted. On the Garden Ring, where the ZR raid took place, billboards should be no closer than 60 meters from each other and from road signs. Advertising on poles should be placed respectively 25 meters from neighboring advertising of the same signs. If we take into account that, according to the traffic police, more than 1000 road signs are now installed on Sadovoye, then by law at least 2/3 (!) Of billboards and posters are subject to dismantle here.

The requirements of the law and its executors - traffic police officers are opposed by an advertising lobby that protects the interests of a business that receives millions of dollars in profit. What can I talk about here, if during the period of the regulations governing the placement of billboards, screens and “banners”, 3 (THREE!) Billboards were dismantled at Sadovoye.

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