People have probably been messing with ads since ads first appeared. Whether it's drawing a moustache (or worse) on the fashion model, adding social commentary to the copy, or re-editing TV spots, people just seem to love to repurpose creative and media placements to their own ends.
One of the best-known trends in this phenomenon is culturejamming, a term used by the people of Adbusters and Greenpeace to describe simple changes made to ads or logos that reveal their true nature:
You get the idea.
But in today's electronic media, jamming opportunities can be much more dramatic, such as when people break into electronic billboards.
So it was only inevitable that someone would find a way to access the giant video billboards going up in major cities all over the world.
And it came to pass, last Friday, that late-night traffic in Moscow came to a standstill as a 9 x 6 metre video billboard near the Kremlin suddenly started screening hard core pornography.
As amusing as this is, it kind of seems like a missed opportunity to make a really grand statement. People got out of their cars and videotaped the incident, and it's still making the news rounds three days later.
The billboard company owner accuses the hackers of "hooliganism". I just think they displayed a lack of imagination.