Home ?Are you a virgin?? ad yanked from wall

?Are you a virgin?? ad yanked from wall

by admin September 14, 2010

An advertisement flagged by a Chartwells employee as inappropriate has been removed from the Hall building’s seventh floor cafeteria. The large white poster had large black and red capital lettering and read: “Still a virgin? For help call: 888-743-4335 Toll Free.”

Normally, ads on campus need to be approved before being placed.

“Hospitality Concordia is the point at which the approval process happens,” said Concordia director of media relations Chris Mota. But she admitted that the in-your-face ad had slipped by the usual veto process used by Hospitality, which oversees several things at Concordia, including advertising and managing food retail outlets.

The poster had been hanging on the wall along with a second poster advertising a ski resort since last week but the “virgin’ poster was taken down by lunch hour this Monday.

The cafeteria, which is frequented mostly by first-year students living in residence, is a new ad space, the result of a deal between Concordia and a consortium of three ad companies, Mota said.

Last spring, the university put out a request for proposals from media companies interested in using the university’s advertisement space. They then selected a group of three companies: Rouge Media, UB Media and MU Media for a deal that started on July 31 of this year.

The consortium was chosen for a few reasons: besides offering Concordia the best deal in ad revenue, they offered to create student internships, provide bursaries, and replace aging advertisement screens around campus, like the one to the left of the escalator on the first floor of the Hall building. Also, the consortium offered to display Concordia ads off-campus.

The amount of money the university will pocket is undisclosed, said Mota, because it is a private contract and cannot be made public.

The questionable “virgin’ advertisement, a publicity stunt for a Will Ferrell movie called The Virginity Hit, was submitted by one of the three companies and it escaped approval or veto by Hospitality Concordia. The department has regulations that prevent any advertising on campus that supports a political party or military organization, or sells tobacco products, sex, alcohol, gambling and illegal drugs. Ads must not violate the law, be dishonest, or attempt to mislead the consumer. Additionally, ads must not suggest that a university body endorses or that it is perceived as endorsing a product.

While the “virgin’ poster might not fit into these criteria, someone did take offence and filed a complaint. Mota reported that Hospitality then “contacted the company and reminded them of the procedures.”

Some students sitting in the cafeteria were ambivalent towards the use of ad space in the cafeteria, while others thought it made good business sense. “I don’t mind. It’s more money for the university,” said first-year urban planning student Phil Brougham.

Others, like Eric Seguin, a first-year philosophy student, felt that students don’t need more advertising “because we get enough of it outside […].”

The “virgin’ poster has also showed up on billboards in some American cities and has caused a bit of a stir. More than 70,000 people dialed the toll free number within five days to hear messages pre-recorded by the film’s actors.

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