Ad shop Zig has created a campaign for Canadian talk radio station CFRB to promote the issues (civic, environment, etc) which are routinely discussed on the channel. The first round of the campaign launched in August and September of 2008, which included panhandlers holding signs asking, “Should panhandling be illegal?” This time, the campaign was for featured the hot button topic of prostitution. This past Saturday night, local prostitutes were paid to hold signs on a street corner in Toronto reading, “Should prostitution be legal?” Bully to CFRB for having the trusticles to trust their ad agency.
There’s a theme going on here. The agency has also passed out small bottles of hand sanitizer in high-traffic areas with the message, “Does the flu shot really work?” Posted signs in small, abandoned mom & pop stores in downtown Toronto with the message, “Can Mom & Pop survive in Toronto?”
However, the recent prostitution and earlier panhandling campaign is what everyone is talking about due to the possibly exploitative nature. Executive Creative Director Martin Beauvais, to The National Post: “I don’t think it’s exploitive at all because we’ve asked people if they wanted to do it and they agreed to do it. We presented them with the whole idea of what it was about. I don’t think it’s exploitive at all. It’s not more exploitive than putting a billboard on a building.”
True. Valerie Scott, executive director of Sex Professionals of Canada said: “Here [CFRB is] paying them for one hour to hold up a sign in order to get publicity for their radio station. I don’t want to hear [anything] on that station about how women should not be working on the street after this. Now they have zero moral authority to complain.” Double true.
The point of the campaign is to get people talking. Zig is achieving that goal by getting people to talk about what one pissed of blogger called an “irrelevant talk radio station,” but to also dialogue on difficult societal issues.