In early July a risqué ad for a local adult massage parlour, Royal Spa, was featured on some Brampton Transit buses, advertising services and solicited employees. Due to its nature the ad received backlash from members of the community at large.

As per protocol when such a matter comes to the attention of the city of Brampton, an advisory panel was set up.

Usually before an ad is placed in or on a public area, the proposed ads are reviewed by the City of Brampton.In some cases an advertising review panel may also be convened if one of the following occur:

  • The advertiser provides the panel coordinator with a request for review of a city staff advertising decision
  • City staff refers to the panel proposed advertising where staff has been unable to reach an advertising decision. A referral must include a staff recommendation on approval or disapproval of the advertising
  • A minimum of five (5) Brampton residents who disagree with a city advertising decision must independently provide the panel coordinator with a request for review
  • The mayor or a member of council provides the panel coordinator with a request for review of an advertising decision’

In this case, a review of the ad was received by the mayor on behalf of a number of Brampton residents. The panel convened and has officially announced its decision to take down the ad.

“I don’t believe it should have been allowed on the bus,” says Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon, Wards 9 & 10. “We have students, children, and women who use our transit system, and it sends the wrong signal especially to our young men.”

It’s become evident that situations such as these require care on the part of the city, and some councillors have expressed as much.

“The issue of advertising and sponsorship for governments at all levels, is and will always be one where the highest level of care and consideration needs to be given to ensure the material is not offensive or controversial to the community they serve,” says Councillor Elaine Moore, wards 1 & 5.

Moore goes on to say how community tolerance factors into this as she notes, “with community acceptance levels ranging from zero tolerance to indifference, regardless of best effort to avoid controversy, on rare occasions it is inevitable.”

Although the ads fall within Canadian Advertising Standards, they will be permanently removed from city busses.