On 25th March 2013, a group of French activists from ‘Les Deboulonneurs’ (The Debunkers) collective were acquitted of defacing advertising billboards in a symbolic act of civil disobedience. They argued that their fundamental “right of reception” had been violated by being forced to engage with toxic commercial advertising in public space. The judge agreed and deemed that their actions were protected under a “freedom of speech’ and ”reason of necessity” defence.
One year later, the Human rights Council of the United Nations acknowledged citizens’ right to consent when developing advertising messaging strategies and governance.
See the 2014 UN-HCR report on advertising (paragraph 33). For the report in English, follow the link and click on the letter E: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/69/286
Taking place for the first time at the World Social Forum in Tunis in 2015, then again in 2016 in order to “free up the planet from ads” the 25th March call celebrates an important victory for the recognition of the right of citizens to with regards to the reception of advertising messages.