06 November 2003

TTC refuses ad

Not too long ago I wrote about an offensive billboard Nancy and I saw along Garth Street in Hamilton. Brian Harskamp has drawn my attention to an article, "Sex good, religion bad," that appeared in the latest issue of Marketing Magazine. This is from the article:

In street slang, it's a classic case of getting shown no love. When John Farquhar and company at Toronto's Cyclops Partners tried to get the Toronto Transit Commission to OK one of their transit executions for the current Puretracks.com campaign, they were given a stern "no." The poster shows a midriff-baring nun wearing a massive crucifix, with copy that reads "pure hip hop."

The TTC's advertising advisory board decision to turn down the ad is curious, considering some of the racy ads TTC patrons see while riding the rails. One ad for a televised model search, for example, doesn't leave much to the imagination, showing the backsides of three bikini-clad models in stilettos.

Farquhar surmises the TTC may simply be acting on past experience that told them "sexy is OK, but sex and religion, maybe that's over the line." He adds: "I was actually shocked, because you start questioning your own spectrum in terms of what's acceptable. I didn't see it as anything that should be banned in any particular medium." When it comes to ads, it would seem the TTC is steering clear of the confessional.

Some people claim to be so enlightened as not to be shocked by the things others find shocking. The only thing that appears to shock Farquhar is, not midriff-baring nuns, but people who are shocked by midriff-baring nuns. How unenlightened of him.

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