Motion rejected: City of Bern wants to keep advertising in public spaces

Posters of fashion chains, car brands and food should continue to adorn public spaces in the city of Bern. The Bern City Council has voted against a ban on advertising by 36 votes to 22, thus rejecting Christa Ammann's motion.


The motion called for public spaces, including bus and tram stops, to be cleared of commercial advertising. "The progressive commercialization of urban space has undeniably negative effects on the well-being of the population," said Christa Ammann of the Alternative List on Thursday. She also sees small local businesses at a disadvantage. These could hardly afford the advertising space, the space is only affordable for multinational corporations and large companies, criticized Ammann. She referred to cities such as Grenoble, Sao Paulo and Brussels, where restrictive advertising regulations had created "creative design spaces".

Ammann received majority support in the city parliament from left-wing parties. "Why not look at graffiti instead of H&M ads or study a cultural agenda instead of a car?" said Seraina Patzen of the Junge Alternative.

For the majority in parliament, however, the cost argument seemed to prevail. Advertising accounts for only 0.32 percent of the city's annual revenue, said Ammann. But that was 3.4 million francs and therefore no small matter, argued the municipal council, on the other hand. "In a free liberal society, everyone is free to pay attention to advertising or not," said FDP councillor Christophe Weder. For Erich Hess of the SVP, advertising is even "part of a well-functioning economy".

According to the municipal council, the advertising space in the city of Bern is proportionate compared to other cities. "We have not put up any additional posters for many years," said councillor Ursula Wyss. Ultimately, the question of advertising is a matter of attitude. The municipal council has to find a compromise between all the wishes, said Wyss. (SDA)

Photo: Pixabay

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