According to Rogers, they were unaware of the by-law that prohibits the use of the foot lanes for advertising purposes and hastily removed them. (Courtesy of The Torontoist, also the whistleblower.)
Does that have a ring of truth to it? More like they knew very well and were prepared for a short-term campaign and the resultant exposure the “oversight” provided.
Shame that the ads were so boring and unimaginative.
Michael T and I tried this out with Island Collateral a few years back. They make retro video games. We wanted to spray wash the sidewalk in the shape of a Pacman game line leading to the store. Fingers wagged at us from City Hall and the client wasn’t up for the bunfight. But naturally we checked out the rules and regs first, as any agency would.
Rogers’ agency didn’t bother? C’mon.
The thing with sidewalk ads, as far as I can see, is that the public will only hate them if they’re dead-boring and intrusive, like all advertising. They clutter up our cites further with the street equivalent of junk mail. We read some junk mail, respond to less of it, but we see it all as junk nonetheless.
It’s not all bad. There is great street advertising and art that confounds and entertains, like this one for Mr. Clean, and Kurt Jenner’s amazing illusions.
We have our own Renaissance chalk portrait artist in Victoria on Government Street in front of The Irish Times. You walk around his art. Rogers? You want to stomp on it.
No doubt the guerilla tactics will go on, spraying and stenciling today, cleaning up tomorrow, all in the hopes of a quick, illegal high with the public.
So here’s an idea. Why doesn’t the City monetize the space and sell it for a corresponding decrease in public tax? Or better yet, take all proceeds to the Canadian Cancer Society…so it gives us, as pedestrians, the stomach – and the heart – for the inevitable visual invasion.
I would vote for that. With my feet.