"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.”"
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!!
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org (put "Attn:John Donaldson" in your subject line)
EMAIL: Georges.Bedard@ottawa.ca, Rainer.Bloess@ottawa.ca, Clive.Doucet@ottawa.ca, Kitchissippi@ottawa.ca, Jacques.Legendre@ottawa.ca, Maria.Mcrae@ottawa.ca, Doug.Thompson@ottawa.ca, Alex.Cullen@ottawa.ca (city councillors on the Transit Committee)
Tell them the "Lock up your daughters" ads are offensive and must be removed immediatly!
"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."
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 beenimpregnated by "Rock Gods". There are many problems with these ads. You aren't the only one who saw the ads and thought, "wft?!?"
wa.on.ca and Louise Dixon: ldixon@PattisonOutdoor.com
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!)