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Did ‘GOON’ film distributor pull off lewd poster publicity stunt with Toronto media?

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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Jay Baruchel's terrific new hockey flick "Goon" had its premiere in Toronto on Wednesday night, and hits theaters in Canada (and U.S. Video on Demand) on Friday. Thus completes months of publicity and slowly rolling the film out on different platforms, including the ubiquitous poster seen here featuring Baruchel.

Oh, what a stir these posters caused days before the film's release! At least according to its distributor. Whose job it is to, you know, have as many people be aware of the film as humanly possible upon its release.

Gayle MacDonald of the Globe & Mail had a story on Wednesday evening that citied Frank Mendicino, Alliance's senior vice-president of marketing, as claiming that the outdoor advertising agency Astral Media was "told to rip down the signs from transit shelters Wednesday after the city apparently received numerous complaints about the sexually suggestive pictures of Montreal native Baruchel" (Those scurrilous Montrealers, with their unbounded sexuality ...)

Then the Globe & Mail story disappeared.

The link died. Then the Globe & Mail story reappeared, looking a little different (and more multi-sourced):

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An email to Astral seeking comment wasn't returned.

So was this a bit of hucksterism? If so, it worked: MacLeans wrote that "the city took down 38 posters promoting the movie"; the Examiner picked up the story; and so did the Canadian Press and Huffington Post Canada.

Nothing wrong with a little self-inflicted "us against them" hype to sell a flick about hockey brawling. Now go see "Goon." It's awesome. (Review Friday.)

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