Subvertising: Countering Mind Control in London

Subvertisers for London

Dog Section Films (2019)

Film Review

“Subvertise” is the millenial term for what baby boomers call “culture jamming.” (See  Culture Jamming: The Grassroots War Against Mind Control) Their aim is to minimize the societal threat from advertising and the commercial culture that has spawned it. The technique has the potential to reach millions of people, using humor to jolt them into questioning the status quo.

The British artists who engage in “subvertising” go much further than merely editing billboard ads. Typically they will replace an entire bus shelter or underground ad with a a professional-looking poster conveying an ironic political message. Examples in the film include

  • Data Misuse is Our Business Model (Facebook, Google)
  • Theresa May Will Follow Donald Trump to the End of the World
  • Suck My Goldman Sachs (David Cameron)
  • Fresh Mucus
  • Sorry We Got Caught (Volkswagen)

They also make fake Royal Navy recruitment ads for suicide bombers and a fake street sign reading “Curfew: Social Cleansing 7-9 pm”