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Signs, Advertising, and Pompeii: Even LACMA is Paranoid*

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Sending in the above photo (left), a reader writes: "This morning I arrived to work in Larchmont Village to find 'Pompeii @ LACMA' spray painted [ed*--actually they are chalk] all over the sidewalks around my office. Not just one on the corner but one of these every ten feet. Isn't this just another example of tagging? Can anyone confirm what this is all about and how they have the right to do this?" Yes, this is a marketing campaign for "Pompeii and the Roman Villa," opening May 3rd at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). According to Barbara Pflaumer, Associate Vice-President of Communications at LACMA, 20 stencils went up at four locations around the city this morning. (This kind of advertising has been spotted in other parts of the city, too.) But wait! Pflaumer insists the marketing team "jumped the gun" on doing the sidewalk part of the campaign. "It was supposed to coincide with a forthcoming street banner campaign, and be an almost guerilla campaign. It was supposed to be fun, unconventional." She goes on to note that LACMA is now reconsidering any more sidewalk advertising in conjunction with the Pompeii exhibit. Because the whole city is very jumpy about signs right now? Yes, replies Pflaumer. "We don't want to be part of the nonsense." UPDATE*: Yup, everyone is jumpy. Pflaumer just informed us that LACMA has made arrangements to have all of the chalk drawings removed by the end of the day today.

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