Campos Says Coca-Cola Mural is Not an Advertisement, Deserves Historic Protection

On the subject of Bernal’s vintage Coca-Cola mural, it’s good to see that Supervisor David Campos has well and truly come around, at last. Today he told the San Francisco Examiner:

“We have decided that on balance the best approach is to move forward and protect the sign which ultimately is there, not for the purposes of advertising Coca Cola, but for the purpose really of giving us a sense what the neighborhood was like,” Campos said. “There is a historic value to that sign.”

Since that’s exactly what Bernalwood has been saying since day one, we can only say, Hurrah! The Examiner says Campos will introduce legislation next week to save the sign, and we’ll keep you posted as soon as the details become known.

Photo: Halsted Bernard

11 thoughts on “Campos Says Coca-Cola Mural is Not an Advertisement, Deserves Historic Protection

  1. So what happens when the current/future owner doesn’t want the sign anymore? Is it protected forever after?

  2. Finally, common sense prevails. Sup. Campos, use whatever mechanism is available so the City can leave the homeowner alone! I’m sure the NIMBY responsible for this madness will move on and find something else to whine about.

  3. An interesting argument, that an ad is defined by its intention and not its practical effect. So this sign is now more of a tribute to old Coke ads, or even a Warhol-style pop-art mural of a Coke ad, but not actually an ad because it’s not *trying* to promote a product. The promotion of Coca-Cola is just a coincidence. The implications of this decision are fascinating.

    • I think the answer to your question is, “Yeah, pretty much.” The simplest way to think of it is that it is now “meta” — it’s more of a representation of an ad than a functional piece of advertising.

      I’ve made the Warhol comparison myself, and I’m personally quite comfortable with the possible implications.

    • Would the intention be, in part, up to the owner of the mural?

      If it were my home, my intention of maintaing the sign would be to honor the place Coca-Cola has in my life, and in the life of America in general, as well as to honor history of advertising, and to present something that is beautiful.

      Of course, none of that aims to sell Coca-Cola. My relationship with Coke is that I like it, I want it to be available to me whenever I choose to drink it (die, Pepsi, die!), but I care not one bit if others drink it.

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