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Billboard signs your thoughts

A CONSULTATION on billboard advertising has been launched and we asked you what you thought

A CONSULTATION exercise on billboard advertising has been launched by the government and we asked you what you thought about them and also to send in your photos.

We are putting together a gallery on Facebook, click here to view it.
Find out more about the consultation here and to have your say click here.
The consultation is open until March 11.

As someone in the process of moving to France, I have to say that I have never understood why otherwise attractive, indeed beautiful, French towns surround themselves with such tacky commercial sites festooned with billboards that bid fair to outdo even their US competition for dissonant ugliness.
Yes please, if something can be done about this, someone please do it.
Chris Hibbert

I'm not sure if the campaign is just directed at urban advertising but I think it should definitely include the blights on our countryside too. This is a so-called 'scenic route' with fabulous views of the Gironde Estuary at St Fort sur Gironde... sadly defiled by a couple of Pineau producers who are vying with one another to capture passing trade! (The photo [see our Facebook album] shows but a small sample of their tacky display.)
Caroline Thistlethwaite
Charente Maritime

I have thought for many years that they should go. They look unsightly and cheap, far too many of them. Just remove them and return France to what the entrance to towns should look like . . . welcoming, it's beginning to look like the USA.
Jeff Wright

These advertising boards and hording are becoming a serious problem. How often one approaches one of these beautiful historic villages only to be confronted with these wretched and unnecessary advertisements.
Most of them are for a cafe in the village centre which is perfectly well known to all the locals and doesn't welcome strangers anyway or a supermarket which is in the main drag and all you have to do is to open your eyes to see it.
The most irritating are the ones for the obscure businesses like Sign Writing or Plastic Gear Wheels! Completely and utterly pointless. No one drives along and says 'ah. My van needs a new sign. I think I'll pop in here and get one.' There probably aren't any directions on the board anyway. Surely with iPhones and Google etc all these boards have now become redundant. What they are really for is to massage the business owners' egos. Get rid of them.
David Stringer

We live 6 km from the outskirts of Sarlat in the Dordogne. On every road into the town there are huge boards, Briconauts, Le Clerc, Mobalpa kitchens, Joel Pierre furniture, Bricomarché, Carrefour, Leader Price and more.
Even billboards in Sarlat, advertising shops on the Bergerac road going into Beynac, are extremely large and very ugly. Not what locals or holidaymakers want to see and, environmentally, obscene to look at.

Billboards of a smaller size, advertising local sightseeing locations, are absolutely fine, this is a tourist area and people need to know where to go. France needs tourism but holidaymakers come to look at the countryside au naturel. However, our hope is that they are not replaced with American style lit up boards, please no.
A and A Walker

Surely these horrendous eyesores are everywhere. They mar the entrance to most towns of any size and mostly defeat their objective by dint of their conflicting graphics (frequently horrendous) and conflicting size and position. Nor is the problem limited to major conurbations/zones industrielles/commerciales.
In our small commune a rag bag of randomly placed signs and hoardings detract drivers and ruin sight lines and aesthetics. Many are out of date or feature businesses long since defunct. Perhaps the regulations ought to extend to smaller scale problems and come under the remit of mairie's at this level?
Overall, the new legislation is a breathe of fresh air.
David Nordon-Angus

I generally like the billboards! Over 20 years of travelling in France, I have found it really useful to know which hotels, supermarkets etc. are in the next town. Admittedly there are some that are unsightly and unnecessary.

Billboard horrors: Here's a few of the 'points noir' found in Montauban. [See the album on our Facebook page]. I am the south west France organiser for Paysages de France and one of the national administrators of the association. It has denounced the new law that unfortunately allows the main offender, the 12m² billboard, to continue. On March 14, the ARTE programme 'Global Mag' (19.30) is devoted to the 'antipub' movement in France with a report on our activities at Montauban that have resulted in a clean-up of the town heavily afflicted by the publicity blight.
Tony Smith
05 63 66 15 34

Whilst I agree that in places there are too many, I do find them useful when searching for a store in a strange town. I never have a problem in finding a hotel (Campanille etc), whilst in the UK it can be a nightmare. So everything in moderation.
James Cox

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