Every year millions of people stroll along the Bund to enjoy the scenery of the river with the Pudong skyline in the background. And most take pictures there as well there, so it’s a great location to put up some billboards. And that’s what happened: judging from old pictures the first billboards went up in the mid-90’s, and now they cover a large part of the riverside in both Pudong and on the New Bund area (in Hongkou, the area you see on your left when you stand at the Bund). But now the government plans to tear them all down, because they spoil the landscape and because they ‘can fall over in heavy winds’.
For me the billboards have become part of the scenery, and they actually add something to it. The Coca-Cola, Philips and Kodak ads have become an integral part of the view. They show what the new Shanghai is all about: business! And can they fall over in heavy wind? I have not heard that happening once over the past 10 years, but maybe I have missed that.
But that’s not all, because the government will replace the boards with ‘scenic lightning’. And that’s where I am getting nervous: scenic lightning in China normally means putting up blinking Christmas lights. Please guys, don’t spoil the view by installing flickering bright and colorful lightning all over the place! The horrible 100 meter video screen on the Aurora building is already bad enough…
They won’t stop until it looks exactly like Hong Kong 🙂
Something is very wrong here. Maybe they are just threatening to take the billboards down in an effort to raise prices?
Who knows, but this could be negotiation tactics. Scare the multinationals, and then pacify them by offering to keep the billboards but only after doubling the price. We will find out in a few weeks.