Kevin Buckle: Ad drums help stop fly-posting so what's the issue?
I was a little surprised to see that there was an issue with the advertising drums on Castle Terrace and St Andrew Square.
I know that the drums in the Grassmarket outside my shop were a huge success from the fact that many visitors each week would refer to them when in the shop, either asking if I knew more or very often looking for directions to the theatres whose shows were advertised.
I would see the City Centre Poster (CCP) guys regularly changing the posters outside and got to know them well and I have to say they were involved in the arts themselves and took promoting the various shows and gigs very seriously.
Bands told me they would put up small posters elsewhere for free as part of an agreed scheme and I never heard anything but good things about them.
I also used to see them cleaning up graffiti on the streets, which they told me they did for free as part of their deal with the council and it always looked a thankless task as they might very well be back again the next week doing the same.
The Grassmarket drums, along with others, are to be recommended for planning approval but I can’t understand why there would be any issue with those on Castle Terrace and what the ”unacceptable detrimental impact” would be.
St Andrew Square is maybe a little more sensitive but given the great job the drums do promoting nearly always cultural events I don’t really see a problem.
Pesky planning officials appear to be to blame for these refusals and I would be interested to know why what is good for the Grassmarket is not good for Castle Terrace.
Claire Miller, the Green councillor for the city centre, was in this very paper saying she acknowledged that the drums had helped regulate out-of-control fly posting but also seemed concerned about over-commercialising the public realm.
I can certainly think of far more pressing issues relating to an over-commercialised public realm in the city centre than a few well-placed drums.
The Fruitmarket Gallery used CCP only recently for the Scottish Pop Exhibition Centre exhibition and the exposure gained certainly helped raise its profile, so it would be a shame if space is limited in future meaning those wanting to advertise events are turned away.