Ok. New category. I was going to call it the “It’s about damn time awards…”
But I thought better.
I got an e-mail today from my good buddy Rami Tabello at IllegalSigns.ca in Toronto.
IllegalSigns.ca – the Toronto area website that sticks it to the big players in the outdoor sign industry that are cluttering your sight lines and the visual environment for corporate profit. Oh yes, and installing outdoor signs without the right permits or paperwork. There is nothing that angers me more than rich corporate fat cats that feel that the rules that apply to you and me – do not apply to them.
And in this blog, once again, I pick on Pattison Outdoor (a wing of the Pattison group) that does business in Toronto.
Jimmy Pattison, by the way, just bought the Guiness World Book of Records and in some ways the irony of this purchase is not entirely lost on me… but read on please.
IllegalSigns.ca is an absolute inspiration for me. I tend to think of myself as a pretty gutsy, devil may care individual… but I am not. The good people at IllegalSigns.ca have more healthy pairs than the Dallas Cowboys (and their cheerleaders!)
I mean, who in their right mind would take on Pattison Outdoor in the press, like the good people at IllegalSigns.ca, without hard facts to back up their accusations.
Example: IllegalSigns.ca was tipped off recently by a Pattison Outdoor employee that the Pattison Outdoor Group was about to butcher a healthy elm tree (illegally) because the tree was obscuring the billboard.
This billboard was illegally installed on public property. Check out the series of photos and feel some of the anger that I feel every time I think about Pattison Outdoor. We salute those Pattison Outdoor employees brave enough to stand up against their employers!
Rami Tabello’s website even gets insiders at Pattison Outdoor offering excuses about visual clutter in Toronto in the comment fields of the web-site.
My question is this: Why would I be immediately fined or jailed if I did this and yet a big company headed by a billionaire can get away with cutting down trees without permits and erecting signs in some of our most beautiful cities without the proper paperwork or permits?
Ok, so Pattison Outdoor is not the only player in this lucrative sign market in Toronto. Astral Media and CBS-Outdoor (yes, CBS Television) is a big player in Toronto, Canada – and they appear to bend as many rules as Pattison Outdoor.
But don’t take my word for it. head over to IllegalSigns.ca and get angry with me.
Really, I want you to see some of this stuff. And then take a look around at your visual environment.
Update February 18, 2008 – Read here for more example of illegal Pattison Outdoor in Toronto.
Update February 19, 2008 – Read here for a brilliant Toronto Star article that covers the activities of Illegalsigns.ca