Some irked by fest ad

A senior executive with ad agency Geoffrey B. Roche & Partners says an ad which has the residents of the Toronto suburb of Scarborough up in arms was meant to be taken with a sense of humor.Andy Macaulay, senior vice-president with...

A senior executive with ad agency Geoffrey B. Roche & Partners says an ad which has the residents of the Toronto suburb of Scarborough up in arms was meant to be taken with a sense of humor.

Andy Macaulay, senior vice-president with the Toronto shop, says its ad, which states that the theatre’s Shaw Festival offers ‘Murder, Deceit and Infidelity,’ and then adds, ‘(Sounds Just Like Scarborough Doesn’t It?)’ was not meant to offend.

Macaulay says although the ad highlighting the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. was intended to be lighthearted ‘the risk is always there that some people will take [advertising] the wrong way.’

The small-space black and white ad was one of 30 set to run in The Globe and Mail from Aug. 25 to Oct. 31.

Shaw Artistic Director Christopher Newton gave a public apology to Scarborough mayor Joyce Trimmer who has threatened to initiate libel proceedings.

The controversy comes on the heels of a similar incident with a Canadian National Exhibition busboard in Toronto which playfully hinted people should call in sick to attend the opening day of the annual fair.

The offending ad was pulled after complaints from Metro Toronto City Council. PS