“Our mission is simple: to commodify every aspect of our culture.”
– Brandon You, Executive PubPartout
Monday night, Montreal played host to another performance by the culture jammers of überculture collective Concordia and Optative Theatrical Laboratories. This time around we targeted a city council meeting in the Plateau, where überculture's own Erik Chevrier presented a petition calling for a ban on ad-trucks from the streets of Montreal. With a banner, flyers, and even a catchy little chant, (Ad trucks, they’re our right! We want more and we will fight!) we shivered outside of Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal for about an hour preaching the blessings of a branded culture as the attendees of the meeting trickled into the building.
Playing the roles of executives and mail clerks of the fictional ad company, PubPartout, we educated all who walked by about the benefits of branding everything. What better way to sell cigarettes than to advertise on a cute little baby girl’s forehead? Selling a new, overpriced miracle drug? PubPartout will affix your logo to the tombstone of someone who probably should have had a prescription. From cradle to grave, PubPartout would like to be your advertising agency.
Among the mixed reactions was a woman advocating her brand-free coffee cup, and a very angry francophone man (Ad trucks! Fucking bitches!) throwing our flyer back at us and speeding away on his very eco-friendly bicycle. By the end of the jam, I still had all ten fingers and all ten toes and managed to escape assault by the Montreal Police Department (Apparently, jamming city council meetings is a lot less threatening than jamming Starbucks, and thus does not require police interference.) As for the petition, we’ll see next month if any of the councilors actually read the damn proposal.
This story is courtesy of Montreal culture jammer Emily Tetreault. Check back soon for a video of the action!