Toronto Symphony Cancels Series of 'Edgy' Radio Ads

Classic Arts News   Toronto Symphony Cancels Series of 'Edgy' Radio Ads
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has canceled a series of radio ads that listeners found tasteless, the Toronto Globe and Mail reports.

The series of narrated spots written by Pirate Radio and Television, a Toronto agency, profiled unlikely and fictional music lovers called "Old Bill," "Rich Joanne," and "Boring Maurice." Maurice, for example, is in his early 30s, is body-conscious, has three girlfriends, and "doesn't press his underwear." Each advertisement ends with the statement, "You'd be surprised who goes to the TSO."

The advertisements, which were meant to upend the stereotype of the wealthy, stuffy symphony patron, ran on Classical 96.3 FM in Toronto. They were canceled two weeks early, and will be replaced with taped testimonials by music director Peter Oundjian.

According to Lisa Mackay, marketing manager for TSO, the ads "ruffled the feathers. . . of some of our subscribers" who listen to Classical 96.3. She added, "We didn't do a good job of matching the message with the audience."

The series of advertisements will continue to run on 680 AM, an all-news station, and might be destined for two rock-music stations.

"Edgy probably works better there," Mackay said.

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