A Grate Idea?
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A Grate Idea?

There is good advertising and there is bad advertising. There is even good guerilla advertising—depending on who you ask. Take, for instance, Boston’s “Mooninites” promoting the Aqua Teen Hunger Force film, which polarized (and paralyzed) the city; last week’s Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Tees, which polarized Torontoist commenters; or, now, GJP Advertising‘s party streamer installation on Queen Street, just outside of Nathan Phillips Square.
Earlier this month, as a promotion for the party store It’s My Party, GJP attached the ends of colourful streamers to the subway parking garage exhaust vent’s grate. The streamers dangled down, into the vent deep below street level, unseen, until a gust of wind from the passing subway the fans starting up blew the streamers up and out to dazzling effect. The installation ran for only two days, May 8 and 9, before GJP voluntarily took it down.
Torontoist contacted GJP and they conceded that “No “permission” [their quotation marks, not ours] was sought,” which makes us kind of sad; skirting the city’s advertising laws is never a good idea, and it can drum up more bad press than good. Unlike the recent illegal Audi installations, however, the GJP installation is actually worth defending: the ad is creative, fun, and attractive, more like a Nuit Blanche piece than a promotion—and infinitely less atrocious than the advertising inside and around the Eaton Centre just up the street.
UPDATE (May 30, 1:30 p.m.): GJP just sent us another e-mail to clarify that they did, in fact, receive permission; their statement that they didn’t was a “misunderstanding.” Says Karin Campbell, their Director of Public Relations: “GJP installed the piece with permission that was obtained via the photographer with Nathan Philips Square.” Now we can enjoy it entirely guilt-free. Score!
Thanks to Rajan Patel for the tip. All photos by Roswell Anderson, courtesy of GJP.