Appalled beachgoers capture photo of floating annoyance in the water: ‘They want to make this commonplace’

Beachgoers the world over are at the mercy of floating billboards, which have turned up in enough places that some don’t give them a second thought.

Such advertising atrocities have been spotted off Mumbai’s Juhu Beach since 2021. Last year, they raised eyebrows in April and again in October.

A Reddit user shared a tweet that questioned the strategy in India’s largest city. Mumbai is also one of the most populated cities in the world with 21.3 million people.

The ostentatious LED board was even more egregious at nighttime.

"We need to make this go viral, get people to hate this so much they stop."
Photo Credit: u/shahnygpt95 / Reddit

Commenters on Reddit noted people had been ambushed by similar schemes from Ocean City, Maryland, to Hilton Head, South Carolina, to Miami and Destin, Florida. Toyota caught some flak in Poland, and adverts on rivers in China drew a comparison to the dystopian video game Cyberpunk.

Over-water commercials have been around since at least 2016, and the bombardment of bulletins may be harming people’s health by contributing to digital overload.

Adding boats to the water to do nothing but advertise is also a step too far for many. Likely diesel-powered, these barges and other crafts contribute to already polluted shorelines with fuel, oil, and waste discharges. Petroleum hydrocarbons that attach to waterborne sediments persist in aquatic ecosystems, harming bottom-dwelling organisms that form the base of the marine food chain, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“This is gross on so many levels,” one commenter wrote. “If I see a company advertising their wares on a billboard that is actively ruining my serene ocean view, I will absolutely never shop there again. Not even a question.”

Another said: “We need to make this go viral, get people to hate this so much they stop. They want to make this commonplace, to have people grow up thinking this is normal and it will never go away then. But if the backlash is so great they stop, they’ll stay stopped.”

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