Go Ahead … Text And Drive, Suggests Toronto Digital Billboard

May 11, 2016 by Dave Haynes


This is a digital campaign that ran on one of Toronto’s busiest roadways – the ever-crawling Gardiner Expressway – that has a funeral home very darkly encouraging motorists to go ahead and text while they drive.

It spurred a lot of outrage and disgusted visits to the website of the advertiser, Wathan Funeral Home. Turns out, though, there is no Wathan Funeral Home. The campaign was a public service announcement put together by the agency John St., and done with the cooperation of the Toronto OOH company Cieslok Media.

The website, reports AdWeek, has this greeting message:

If you’re here, you’ve probably seen our “Text and Drive” billboard. And if you have, you probably came to this website to tell us what horrible people we are for running an ad like that. And you’d be right.

It is a horrible thing for a funeral home to do. But we’re not a funeral home.

We’re just trying to get Canadians to stop texting and driving, which is projected to kill more people in Ontario this year than drinking and driving. That’s right. More. And while most people wouldn’t even think about drinking and driving, over half of Ontario drivers admit to reading texts while behind the wheel. That’s more than half of the drivers on the road today risking their lives, their passengers’ lives and the lives of their fellow motorists and pedestrians.

Which should make you even madder than our billboard did.

“With an out-of-home inventory situated in high traffic, high-impact locations, it made sense to leverage our digital sign on the Gardiner to amplify this message for the general public good,” says Cieslok president and CEO Jörg Cieslok.




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