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No Love for New Live With Culture Ads?

Here's what we know about the controversial new Live With Culture ads promoting Toronto to American would-be tourists:

* There are four versions, all created for free by Toronto ad agency FCB.
* They are currently running in alt weeklies in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca and Syracuse.
* They've received decidedly mixed if not negative reviews from the mainstream media. Among the few supporters has been councillor Kyle Rae who enthused "These are great. They're funny, they're poking fun at us, and will probably generate an interest in Toronto in other people who think of us as just another boring city north of the 49th parallel."
* None of the mainstream media bothered to ask any Americans what they think.

Live with Culture Project Manager Gregory Nixon welcomes the controversy and feels the ads have had the desired effect by creating buzz and conversation in the media and perhaps even around some water coolers.

Robert Ouellette of Reading Toronto disagrees and thinks we all need to do some serious re-thinking about how Toronto gets marketed abroad.

Perhaps the only issue that everyone can agree with is that these print ads are at least marginally more successful than the universally panned Toronto Unlimited disaster championed by Tourism Toronto.

Me? Well, I've been waiting for the ad campaign that plays on the obvious - that Toronto is a number of cities within a city. And no, I'm not talking about anything to do with the GTA, but rather a nod to our multiculturalism.

I can picture the headline now...

A one hour flight to Mumbai, Shanghai, Milan and Mexico City?
Say Hello to Toronto. The world in one place.

Um, or something like that....What do you think?


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