Dunedin City Council has ordered the removal of these signs
sprayed on to footpaths around Dunedin. Photo by Craig
A multinational company is the second company this week
ordered to remove advertisements it illegally sprayed on
Dunedin city footpaths.
On Thursday night, Unilever removed 14 white spray-painted
signs advertising a competition related to a deodorant
product which it had painted around central Dunedin streets
the night before.
Several of the signs were still visible yesterday, but would
also be removed.
The advertisements were removed days after a local company
was banned from water-blasting advertisements on footpaths.
Dunedin company Clean Advertising NZ was also asked to remove
80 signs it had water-blasted on to footpaths this week
promoting a football match at Forsyth Barr stadium.
Roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring said Unilever
was apologetic when he contacted it to order removal of the
signs, and responded immediately.
The company had said it was not aware it needed permission,
Formal policy being developed would deal specifically with
footpath water-blasting, but the council already had control
through general bylaws, including the 2008 roading bylaw and
signage and hoarding bylaws, which prevented activities such
as commercial advertising and the use of certain media on
footpath surfaces, Mr Standring said.
One the main concerns was damage to surfaces, particularly
pavers, which were sensitive to the methods required to
remove such signs.
While the council did have discretion to allow spraying of
signs on footpaths in some cases, permission was usually
granted only if signs were in a restricted area, were easily
removed, and had a social purpose.
The Otago University Students' Association, for example, had
been given permission to spray some signs on to footpaths
around North Dunedin next week, reminding students to keep
safe. The OUSA had approached the council to seek a
Mr Standring said three incidents in a week showed how ''this
sort of thing'' could proliferate if it was not controlled.
The Unilever signs were painted in chalk paint, using a
stencil, and would have eventually washed away, he said.
The council believed, however, that water-blasting etched
marks into the surface, causing permanent damage.