Rogers thinks the sidewalk is my space

Glad to see communications giant Rogers is into graffiti. If they feel it’s appropriate to do this to a public sidewalk, is it okay for any of us to put up our own stencil graffiti on the outside walls of the Rogers Centre? (Oddly, this photo is very close to where Audi placed one of their infamous ad creep ‘sculptures’ this spring.)

I get annoyed when I see stencil designs on sidewalks promoting bands, but almost all of them are local outfits that do not have the marketing budget to buy subway station domination, full page ads in newspapers and magazines, and numerous TV commercials. No doubt, this form of advertising creep is effective, and the campaign is kinda clever.

But big businesses like Rogers (and the ad company responsible for implementing the campaign) should act like responsible corporate citizens. Sadly, these companies take advantage of the City’s over-stretched staff. They are fully aware that City will not invest the time or energy to prosecute them. But when teenagers get caught with a spray-paint can in hand, they’re arrested and eventually ordered to take part in community services.

photo by Bouke Salverda


  1. Yeah, these have been around for a month now, but I’ve yet to see any comprehensive list of locations, making a scrubbing expedition (à  la what the TPSC did with those Absolut ads last year) a little more difficult.

    I know of Yonge and Gerrard, Yonge and Dundas, and Spadina and Harbord (although the latter one was already jammed with one of these).

    If you know of any more, post them in the comments or email me, and we’ll form a hunting party.

  2. I would LOVE to see Rogers executives (or ad company executives) doing community clean-up work.

    In a similar vein, CBC is currently using stickers on sidewalks to advertise one of their shows.

  3. Hmmm…how about a counter-campaign, where we go to all of the Rogers-branded locations (of which there are as many as there are meters of sidewalk), and we apply a stencil that says something to the effect of, “YOURSPACE IS RIGHT HERE. Keep your ads off of our property, Rogers. –the public.”?

  4. “In a similar vein, CBC is currently using stickers on sidewalks to advertise one of their shows.”

    CBC, the public broadcaster, has used this type of advertising in the past. Does anyone remember the posters on private and public property for a mayoral campaign related to a fictional Vancouver coroner-cum-politician?

    And there were the chalk and spray-paint ads on sidewalks for the Festival Hall development at Peter and Richmond dating all the way back in 1995. Certainly nothing new, but immoral and illegal all the same.

  5. Sadly, (“Alternative Advertising”) sprayed their stencil directly in front of the building I work in (near Spadina and Richmond). I’ve also noticed the Roger myspace ads in the same area (i.e. one on the n/e corner of the intersection).

  6. There is an RBC sidewalk ad on the south side of Dundas in front of the police station, just west of University.

  7. howbout calling the graffiti squad at the police department and tell em that someone has been illegally painting your local curb.

  8. You could call either 416-39-CLEAN or 416-808-2222 (Police Services).

    Removing them ourselves sounds technically challenging – though I do like the image of a bunch of citizens trying to scrub them off the sidewalk in broad daylight.

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