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Poor timing for lame ad on Toronto subway?

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By David Silverberg
Posted Oct 12, 2009 in World
Sometimes, advertising suffers from a case of bad timing. So it goes for Metro, the subway newspaper Torontonians step on five times a week. In subway cars across the city, Metro ads have blanketed the inside of trains, promoting its new mobile website.
Fine. Metro under foot and over top as well. But one particular m.metronews.ca ad is a slap in the face to recent Toronto legislation – “this just in: 4-car collision downtown…no, wait, make that 5.” How inappropriate for this unimaginative copy to poke fun at car accidents related to checking out cellphones when Torontonians have been told they can’t talk while driving.
The legislation will begin to be enforced on Oct. 26, prohibiting Toronto drivers from talking on their cell (but they can use hands-free devices).
Maybe I’m oversensitive, but the Metro ad seems to be mocking this important law. The ad is saying, “Sure, check out abbreviated journalism on our mobile site, but you’re probably going to kiss bumpers with the driver in front of you, even if our articles are as compelling as a manila envelope.”
I can live with sophomoric Metro ads using terms like “donkey hole.” That’s just bad copywriting. But an ad that takes a jab at car accidents related to cellphone use?
Too soon.

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