French Spiderman/Environmental Activist Becomes Paid Promoter

On June 5th, Alain Robert (aka French Spiderman) boldly scaled the 52-story New York Times building in Times Square to call attention to global warming. This afternoon, he climbed the 32-story Dresdner Bank building in Frankfurt.

robert dresdner

No environmental activism or political intervention behind today’s stunt, though. It’s all legal, secure (Robert wore a safety harness) — and paid for. His 40-minute climb was filmed for a German program called “Unglaublich!” (which NYT translates into “Unbelievable!”). This time, his call-to-action was replaced by a T-shirt with the name of the show.

Why do so many independent acts get turned into promotional vehicles or media opportunities? As our visual landscape gets more and more jampacked with promotional messages, corporations are always on the lookout for the next out-of-the-blue spectacle. And they’ve got the budgets to monetize these unusual acts.

Does everything and everyone ultimately have a price?

Photo: Arne Dedert/European Press in NYT

3 Responses to French Spiderman/Environmental Activist Becomes Paid Promoter

  1. helloimwes says:

    In the grand scheme of things, isn’t that the point? When more media attention is gathered to the action, good or bad, people are receiving the message. I was there for it … made me miss my bus.

    Awesome post. Love the blog!


  2. blixity says:

    wow. must have been incredible to see the live climb! just makes me a bit uncomfortable when acts of protest become usurped by promotions in less than a month.
    thanks for the support, wes!

  3. Pete says:

    alain has to earn a living too, right

    join his cause at

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