Help strip Times Square of its ads

New York’s Times Square is known around the world for its intense, neon-lit advertising billboards and signs. But how would it look with all the ads removed?

New York’s Times Square is known around the world for its intense, neon-lit advertising billboards and signs. But how would it look with all the ads removed? A new website presented by Morgan Spurlock, whose documentary investigating product placement in films premiered at the Sundance film festival last week, gives you the chance to help find out.

Designed by US agency The Barbarian Group, the website was inspired by the billboard advertising ban in São Paulo (which we covered in CR here). Barbarian took a 360 degree photo of Times Square, divided it into a series of different ‘frames’, and is now inviting users to remove the advertising from each still via the site.

It’s a bit of a fiddly process to do this: users pick a frame they want to work on, which is then opened in Aviary, a Photoshop-style package. They are then encouraged to use the programme’s tools to remove the ads – a cinch for anyone familiar with Aviary maybe, but pretty tough for the casual user. Still, it seems likely that there are enough ad-haters out there who will take up the challenge.

The Aviary pages also come with a pre-loaded set of images of building façades (shown above) that you can replace the scrubbed-out ads with. Again, it helps if you know your way around Aviary already to achieve this, though. Once you’ve finished altering the picture, you can save it and it will be added to the site as a ‘clean’ image. After all the frames have been edited, an ad-free version of Times Square, created by the website’s users, will be uploaded to the site.

Check out the No Ad: New York website at



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