Benetton Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein Use Fly Posting

Marketers Copy Sniper Board Approach of Nightclubs

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Boarded-up construction sites in New York and Los Angeles are doubling as fashion designers' runways.

Benetton Services Corp., the Donna Karan Co., Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein are among a small group of marketers using the wooden barricades of buildings under construction to advertise.

"Wild posting" or "sniper boards," as the practice is called, has long been used as an underground advertising venue by nightclub owners, concert promoters and record companies. But the medium has become increasingly attractive to upscale designers.

"In terms of sheer number of impressions, you can't duplicate it," said Neil Kraft, senior VP-creative director for Calvin Klein.

Identical posters of Kate Moss and Marky Mark displaying their Calvin Klein underwear have been pasted side by side in both cities for a outdoor boardlike effect.

"It's a lot cheaper than billboards," said Peter Fressola, director of communications for Benetton of North America.

The fashion retailer recently spent about $12,000 to print and place 8,000 wild posting sheets in the two cities. Comparable boards would have cost about $4.2 million.

Major players in the field of producing and posting the ads include National Promotions & Advertising, Los Angeles, and James Rogers, Paramus, N.J.

But construction company owners complain the postings-illegal only if done on city property-contribute to urban blight, said the proprietor of one well-known posting company who requested anonymity. And sloppily installed, overlapping posters can be a poor reflection on the construction company, whose name also is often on the temporary structures.

"[Other construction company] clients don't like it as a rule," said David Plant, president and general manager, Plant Construction Co., San Francisco.

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