• May 19, 2007
Audi apparently thought it could pull one over on the residents of Toronto, but it got caught. The automaker from Ingolstadt applied for a permit from the Film and Television Office of Toronto to shoot a commercial that would allow it to place double "T" statues that measure six feet high and fifteen feet long all over the city for a period of three days. A press release issued by Audi, however, confirms that no commercial would be shot, but rather that the statues are meant to act as billboards advertising the new Audi TT. The placement of the statues as advertisements, though, violates the city's signage laws.

About 50 of the statues were placed around Toronto, some appearing in park settings where residents go to enjoy natural beauty and a peaceful environment in the city. Clearly, the statues are regarded as a major eyesore, and people are ticked off that Audi and its advertising agency, Maverick PR, bent the rules to place them in the path of Toronto's residents.

Well, the citizenry has risen up against Audi's misuse of the permit and the fact that city officials ever granted it at all. Some have outright vandalized the sculptures, while others have appealed to the local government. City Hall has already responded by ordering Audi to remove all of the sculptures. Power to the people!

Thanks for the tip, David!

[Source: Seemsartless, Spacing.ca, illegalsigns.ca]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here's hoping Audi and the PR company that planned this gets a nice big fine.

      Stll a sucky car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The people who are jumping up and down about this are folks that see the irony in an automaker placing their ads in lush, green spaces. No matter how eco-friendly Audi could ever make its cars, almost everything is does as an automaker will lead to the ultimate destruction of our green spaces.

      Audi has every right to advertise, but if you read the news stories, they lied to the city about their permit (it was supposed to be a commercial, not static mini-billboards placed all around town).

      Audi cars are great, and these 'sculptures' are quite attraxctive, but that doesn't mean they don't should have to go thru the same process as everyone else. If any artist wanted to install some installation of similar size and scope, they would have to spend months getting permits and approvals from the variety of City agencies. Instead, Audi's marketing company lied.

      The people who they are pissing off are not the type who would probably go and buy the TT. But the company should also show some respect for the local governance laws, especially the parks they were placed in. Parks are a respite from citylife and I think most people would agree they should be free of commercial interests.

      Unfortunately, it does give Audi more publicity, but the city will probably never let this happen again so they are ruining the relationship between outdoor advetisers and local governments.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @1 Rene Curry
      *Groans* But I laughed, LOL.

      The stunt proved their worth and Audi has gotten publicity over its ads.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is what happens when you get egomanical advertising agencies creating automotive campaigns.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There were/are several of these on a street in my neighbourhood. I had no idea what they were, nor did I see any Audi logo as I drove past. I thought it was sculpture! so I wasn't angered by it, but if some people are, well, getting publicity by making people angry hardly seems like a good thing.

      It is not that there isn't a precedent for corporate logos by the roadside here. Companies were allowed to lanscape their names into an embankment along the Gardnier expressway in exchange for paying to keep it tidy. Audi might have found a better way to do this.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I was irritated enough by these ads to take these pictures, call the City to make sure they had them removed, and to e-mail the groups listed above to try and get some traction on the issue (getting all the way to Boing Boing was great! http://www.boingboing.net/2007/05/19/audi_defrauds_toront.html )

      I agree with Matt above; what pisses me off the most is that Audi and their PR firm thought they could get away with this. But I disagree when he says "The people who they are pissing off are not the type who would probably go and buy the TT." I think the last thing upscale brands should do is underestimate the standards of their customers, or think that anyone who would buy a $60,000 CDN car with poor gas mileage wouldn't still want to have their city, and their green space treated with respect.
      • 7 Years Ago
      TThats TThe TThunder TThat I Want. lol

      http://clubvaio.blogspot.com/
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd just take one home.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They should have just set up a camera on them to record people near it. Even if they didn't use the ad, they still had "proof" that they were "filming/taping" a commercial.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Har har Rene---tee'd off.

      Actually, these look like gravestones.

      Makes for a weird message to me.

      "Audi TT is dead?"

      Down south, people always lay flowers and crosses at the sites of car accidents where someone died.

      So if I saw that here, I'd wonder if that's where someone in a TT crashed or something.

      Just odd.