Sunday, February 22, 2009

Killing Us Softly

(from Laura)

Virgin Radio perpetuating history of exploitation of women for commercial means. See Killing Us Softly 3 to learn more about the very real danger these ads cause.

6 mins -

30 mins -

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


"Virgin Radio drops ‘lock-up-daughter’ ads
Hundreds signed petition opposing campaign

By Cassandra Drudi and Brendan Kennedy, The Ottawa CitizenFebruary 17, 2009

OTTAWA — Virgin Radio has decided to pull its “gods of rock” ads from city buses, billboards and bus shelters after receiving complaints that the ads were sexist and offensive.
“We are a part of the community,” said Pete Travers, program director at Virgin Radio Ottawa. “We serve the citizens of Ottawa and there were definitely some people who took offence to our advertising campaign. It was not our intention to offend anybody.”
The ads featured visibly pregnant young women with doleful expressions and the slogan, “Lock up your daughters, the gods of rock are now in Ottawa.”"

Sunday, February 15, 2009


John Donaldson, the city's program manager of transit,
marketing and customer service was quoted on Saturday
saying, ""We receive complaints about advertising
material of all kinds of different subjects [...] -- if people
are offended, and let us know about it, then there's a
provision in the contract to ...remove it."

Let's make John Donaldson and the
Transit Committee live up to their promise!!

(put "Attn:John Donaldson" in your subject line)

(city councillors on the Transit Committee)

Tell them the "Lock up your daughters" ads are offensive and must be removed immediatly!

The Transit Committee meets on Wed. Feb 18th.

Please, send your emails NOW!

Great quotes from our petition!

"I am so happy that I am not the only one who sees this ad as offensive!"

"These ads are offensive on several levels, minimizing the plight of single mothers, accepting the irresponisble behaviour of "rock" personalities and making it seem like we should fear their arrival as though a conquering force. Obviously there is no respect for any of the people impicated in your ad and no sensitivity to the millions of women victimized by invading forces."

"The "gods of rock" gives the messages that older men have impregnated these young girls, also the look of misery on these girls faces makes it appear that their pregnancies were against their will and this sends a message supporting pedophilia. What kind of a city do we live in if this is the message in our media??? Mass media has a responsibility to portray a message that is respectful."

"Nothing says radio like "unwanted pregnancy". These ads do not belong in public spaces."

"I had thought that advertising was becoming more clever and was intended to appeal to a broad range of consumers. Wow, was I wrong. This advertising campaign offends me on so many levels. Overall it is gauche and regressive."

"These advertisments are degrading and insulting to women. And make all men seem like potential rapists and sexual predators. I do not find them humorous in anyway and am offended that i am confronted with them whenever I go out anywhere. Men are not all disgusting, lustfull, predators, and women are not all submissve, stupid teens who get themselves knocked up by every guy they see."
"I am not amused. These ads are degrading and misogynistic."

"Disgusting. With the name "Virgin" on top of it all. Is our society *that* unenlightened? Will it take obscene amounts of vandalism and destruction of city property to wake up some people and have city officials get it and stand up to bad taste? In Canada no less. I thought we were better than this."

"I work in a high school as an educator. I was appalled to see this ad in the Sun newspaper as I was teaching a current event lesson. I was absolutely DISGUSTED."

"I agree completely with the above response to the ad campaing for Virgin. The ads are tired, dated and offensive. It would be good practice for marketers to ask themselves how they would feel driving by such ads with THEIR teenage daughter, or son."

"I totally agree with writer Laura Sparling in her letter to the editor on February 1st, 2009."

"...aha ha. i get it! virgin! sexism is old hat. pull the ads."

"I fully support this petition. My boyfriend and I walk by these posters every day and every time cannot help ourselves from voicing our disbelief/disgust/shock at the igorance and sexism of them, and that a business would choose to promote itself this way. They should be taken down, and the people responsible for making them, approving them, and paying for them, should all be enrolled in some sensitivity training/general education!!!"

"Not only are these ads a slap in the face of all women, but they are also insulting to men as they portray men as sexual predators and potentially rapists; notice that no effort is made to suggest that the pregnant young women were not raped."

"Degrading to women and the musical artists alike"

"I thought I was seeing things the first time I saw one of the ads. I have a great sense of humour. These ads are the opposite of funny."

"Why not lock up the men who developed these ads and throw away the key?"

"Why are we still fighting this battle?"

"This is why I like Majic 100"

"Seriously. Get these ads down. And Apologize."

"I was so happy that there was finally a good rock station in Ottawa, then I saw the terrible ad."

"Please remove this add from circulation: it promotes distasteful and predatory misogyny. Women are entitled to respect, dignity and to be free of all forms of subjugation and violence."

"As a 21 year old guy, I find this ad disgusting! In roman times, an army would rape the women of the city they took over, as a sign of dominating and defeating the city. You will not dominate or take over this city. You will not impregnate us (the young people) with your music or morals."

"As a new mom of a little girl, my job is hard enough to instill self respect, reverence and self esteem in a society where a woman are still fighting on a daily basis to be appreciated as equal members of society. As such as the one for mentioned degrade the incredible gift a woman has to carry and bring forth life while demeaning the entire aspect of a WOMAN! These adds should be destroyed and an apology should be given to all women! How would you feel as a young teen mother who has suffered single motherhood and the burden of teen pregnancy to see yourself objectified in a public display! Immaturity on the parts of advertisers and evidence that money is the focus in our world rather than reapect for all human beings!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Virgin celebrates these for being "controversial" but why should we celebrate "controversy" when it serves only to further condone the subjugation and control of certain persons, in this case women? That the city of Ottawa continues to allow these ads to stand is just one more way they have demonstrated disregard for the well-being of the people in this city. The city has an imperative responsibility for the immediate removal of these ads from our city streets."

"Primitive, vile and shameful. If these stay up, we truly have no standards. I will not support Virgin Radio until these come down."

"Are further comments even necessary? This ad is obnoxiously sexist, and that should be obvious to anyone who looks at it."

Friday, February 13, 2009

You aren't alone, welcome to the campaign against the Ottawa "Gods of Rock

Virgin Radio's "Gods of Rock" ads are sexist. They reinforce negative stereotypes and promote misogyny. The unhappy young women/girls portrayed in the ads are supposed to have been impregnated by "Rock Gods". There are many problems with these ads. You aren't the only one who saw the ads and thought, "wft?!?"

Take action.

part in the discussion.

End sexism.

Sign our petition (434 signatures so far!):

Join our facebook group:

Write letters.
Blog about this.
Post your photos.
Make phone calls.
Talk to your friends about the ads.



► Milestones
Call Cara public affairs' line:
Katie Clark ext 284
Jennifer Ling ext 282
Erin Wit ext 283

► Corbeil Appliances
Gatineau - 325 Greber Blvd. J8T 8J3 1(819) 568-2929
Ottawa - Pinecrest Shopping Center, 2685 Iris St. K2C 3S4 (613) 828-4033
Ottawa - 1900 Innes Road, corner Blair K1B 3K5 (613) 842-0436

► Bushtakah
Ad rep: Dave Morton davem@bushtakah
Senior Manager: Rob



►Celebrity Hardwood Flooring
2477 Kaladar Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1V 8B9
(613) 738-9200

►Kelsey's Restaurants
Call Cara public affairs' line:
Katie Clark ext 284
Jennifer Ling ext 282
Erin Wit ext 283

If you have used any of these advertiser's products
or services, I think it's time to tell them what you
think of them advertising with "The Gods of Rock" !!

Report back here, please:


► Who else to contact ◄

Diane Holmes:
Alain Mercier: alain.mercier@transpo.otta
Louise Dixon:

Virgin is having the ads taken down off Bank St
next week, and Holmes has contacted Mercier
at OC Transpo to discuss the ads on the buses!

Kevin Thurlbeck of Clear Channel Outdoor. They are the advertising company who are contracted to post the ads and who insist that the ads meet Canadian advertising standards.
He can be reached at 613-248-8447

Mayor Larry
(especially because our city buses also carry the ads!)

Phone: 613-580-2496
Fax: 613-580-2509

110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa ON K1P 1J1


Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

1-877-249-CRTC (2782)


The Advertising Agency

296 richmond st west
suite 600 toronto ON


The ads were created by
Jason Hill & Micheal Murray
Assistant creative directors

The person in charge is:
Martin Beauvais - executive creative director


Virgin Radio Ottawa

Reception: 613-225-1069
Studio line: 1-800-754-1069 & 613-750-1069
Fax: 613-226-3381

Virgin Radio 106.9
1504 Merivale Road
Ottawa ON K2E 6Z5

Program Director, Pete Travers
General Sales Manager, Greg Orr
Retail Sales Manager, Darryl MacArthur
Promotions Director, Darren Stevens
Music Director, Kath Thompson