Advertising column

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A Morris column in front of the Palais Brongniart
Colonne Morris, Paris 1910

Advertising columns or Morris columns (French: colonne Morris, German: Litfaßsäule) are cylindrical outdoor sidewalk structures with a characteristic style that are used for advertising and other purposes. They are common in the city of Berlin, Germany, where the first 100 columns were installed in 1855. Advertising columns were invented by the German printer Ernst Litfaß in 1854. Therefore, they are known as Litfaßsäulen (Litfaß columns), and can be found all over Germany.[1]

In France, the columns are called colonnes Morris after Gabriel Morris,[2] a printer, who held the concession for advertising in 1868. They were originally built by La Société Fermière des Colonnes Morris. Today, they are mostly built and maintained by the JCDecaux company, which purchased the original company in 1986. [3]


The idea of advertising pillars came about in order to combat rampant advertising and graffiti. Ernst Litfaß suggested that pillars should be built all over the city. People could then place their advertisements on these pillars. On 5 December 1854, after years of proceedings, Berlin's chief of police, Karl Ludwig von Hinkeldey authorized Litfaß' Annoncier-Säulen. Litfaß had exclusive rights to the building of these columns until 1865.[citation needed]


Advertising columns are typically used to display advertisements in the form of posters, traditionally chiefly theater, cinema, nightclub, and concert announcements. Some are motorized and rotate very slowly. A few house Sanisettes or telephone booths. In 2017, anti-pollution Morris columns were tested in Paris: they contain material to filter out particulates from the air and fix carbon dioxide.[4] At the beginning of 2006, there were 790 Morris columns in Paris;[5] more than two hundred were to be removed.[6]

Cultural references[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parry, Roger (2011), The Ascent of Media, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, ISBN 9781857889468
  2. ^ Metropolitan Museum of Art New York (2010), The Robert Lehman Collection: Nineteenth- and twentieth-century paintings, The Museum, p. 59
  3. ^ JCDecaux. "Colonne". 40 ans d'innovation. Archived from the original on 2006-03-13. Retrieved 2006-05-19.
  4. ^ Bouchama, Houssine (8 September 2017). "Des colonnes Morris pour dépolluer Paris". Time Out Paris (in French).
  5. ^ Simon, Philippe (2007), Paris visite guidée: architecture, urbanism, history and actuality (English ed.), Picard, p. 157, ISBN 9782708407916
  6. ^ "Les colonnes Morris en voie de disparition". 20 minutes (in French). 6 January 2006.

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