Vizeum: We’re graffiti-ing the streets of Sydney and Melbourne

vizeum-graffitiNewly launched media agency FrankVizeum has revealed on its website that it has commissioned an ambient agency to illegally spray stencils onto streets in Sydney and Melbourne to promote itself.  

Agency boss Martyn Thomas talks about the move  in a blog posting to announce the arrival of the agency. Along with a picture of the stencil on a Sydney street, he says:  

“We are a new type of agency that goes beyond the world of advertising’s traditional media planning and buying dictate which is too often stuck in the old paradigm.

“Our targeted stencils go some way to support this point by challenging the accepted norms of targeting broad audiences “P25-54″ (all people aged 25-54) and the obsession of accountability by percentages such as 48.76% 2+ reach etc. etc. Thanks to Media Tree for helping us make this happen.

“It is time for change and for clients to get more from their communications; it is time for frankness about what is really working and what isn’t. We fuse audience motivation, brand truth and communications experience to create the perfect connection.”

The agency announced at the end of last week that it was launching as Aegis’ second brand in Australia after Carat. In Melbourne the agency will be a re-badging of Frank Media, while it will be known in Sydney simply as Vizeum.

Street stenciling, originally the work of graffiti artists, have become increasingly attractive to brands looking for low cost media and to connect with an urban audience. Other brands to have done it recently in Australia include Virgin Mobile and Absolut vodka.

But city councils have been cracking down. It was reported yesterday that City of Sydney Council is currently examining a graffiti campaign by Warner Music on behalf of Green Day.

The bosses of agencies involved in illegal ambient activities can find themselves in court. In the UK, the CEO of one of the country’s leading ambient agencies was served with an Anti Social Behaviour Order over flyposting activities.

The activities of FrankVizeum has already drawn criticism. One comment on Thomas’s blog post from “Melbourne citizen” was:

“I just have to say how lame and annoying it is to have your stupid f*cking stencil out the front of my house. Your lame attempt to be cool and hip by using such a medium is just pathetic. You are a big multi-national corporation, you will never be cool or hip. Go away and please don’t pollute my streets with your advertising again.”

Aegis boss Lee Stephens said:

“There were no chalk stencils outside private residences, unless the ‘Melbourne Citizen’ now lives at their media agency. For the record, this is also against council regulations.”

A spokesman for City of Sydney Council told Mumbrella: “It’s classified as graffiti, which is illegal.”

  • Vizeum – Warriors of wank?
  • From the Lipstick Ladiez blog: “Sorry ad wankers, not going to happen. Big corporations using graffiti is both embarrassing to them and insulting to actual artists. No cred earned for that campaign.”
  • “Far be it from little old me to tell a global media agency how to go about their business, but perhaps they might want to get a copywriter to look at their PR releases.” Stan Lee, Brand DNA

Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.