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‘Canada’s Banksy Strikes Again’ – In Calgary, Against Loblaw’s…

An anonymous anti-Loblaw’s protestor has posted a second parody ad in Calgary – this time on a bus bench. It’s part of what’s becoming a parallel ‘campaign’ Within the larger Loblaw’s Boycott. And pop culture types have dubbed him ‘Canada’s Banksy’…

For those who aren’t tuned in to the pop culture network, ‘Banksy’ is the legendary British ‘phantom graffiti artist’ who started out drawing mustaches on bank notes. One of his latest, high-profile stunts was selling at auction a painting of his in an ornate frame. Which concealed a paper shredder that activated itself the instant the gavel fell on the sale!

Be that as it may…

Calgary’s ‘Banksy’ started his anti-Loblaw’s poster campaign with a realistic-looking bus shelter ad for ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ No Name chocolate cake mix. The new ‘ad’, pictured above, simply says ‘eat the rich’.

According to Yahoo! food writer , “The expression ‘eat the rich’ is often attributed to French Revolutionaries and in this case does not mean to literally eat the rich. Rather, its anti-capitalist aim is the more equitable redistribution of wealth of the ultra-rich.”

Now that ‘our Banksy’ has followed up with a bus bench ad, folks are wondering what’s next.

Huge social media following

Calgary’s phantom poster poster has developed a major-league social media following. And the fans went wild when a photo of the bus bench ad appeared on the r/loblawsisoutofcontrol Reddit thread late last week.

“Canada has its own Banksy” Fun_Wafer1714 wrote.

“Wow, somebody in Calgary is really doing a great job of embarrassing Loblaws,” lauriekay9 wrote. “Our own version of Banksy. Keep it going, whoever you are.”

“I commend the subversive artist behind this,” resnonverba1 wrote. “This needs to go national.”

“How can we get this rolling in other cities,” Commercial-Carrot477 asked. “I’m in a small town, but I’m down to start stapling to trees and taping to street lights.”

Emily Johnson, who co-created and moderates the “Loblaws Is Out of Control” subreddit, wrote: “Calgary understood the assignment.”

One astute observer even suspected a conspiracy of sorts behind the faux ads:

“This could be a guerilla marketing campaign for Calgary tourism — certainly the most persuasive I’ve seen,” octopush123 postulated. “Calgary sounds awesome.”

My take

First, I really don’t think it’s some kind of guerrila ad campaign for Calgary tourism. The city fathers (and mothers) wouldn’t want to risk alienating Loblaw’s, which has 15 stores in the city. Not to men-tion those who don’t support the Loblaw’s Boycott. They almost certainly represent a majority of voters…

But I love it that an anonymous someone – who doesn’t care about raking in glory or the adulation of the masses – has gone to the trouble and expense of creating the faux ads. The ‘campaign’ may be all the more effective as an adjunct to the Loblaw’s Boycott, thanks to the added dimension of the mystery about who’s behind it…

~ Maggie J.

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