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These Ads For A Gay Hookup Site Were Pulled From Toronto Subways

The TTC says the site promotes illegal, public sex.

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The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has pulled ads for a gay hookup site from their stations and the owners of Squirt.org want to know why.

Squirt is a Toronto-based site for gay men owned by Pink Triangle Press, which also publishes Daily Xtra.Two ads for the site went up on TTC subway cars at the end of August, but in mid-September they were taken down.The company's marketing director, Andrew Nolan, told BuzzFeed Canada they were notified that there had been complaints about the ads and the board would be reviewing them. The next they heard, the ads were being taken down.
Pink Triangle Press

Squirt is a Toronto-based site for gay men owned by Pink Triangle Press, which also publishes Daily Xtra.

Two ads for the site went up on TTC subway cars at the end of August, but in mid-September they were taken down.

The company's marketing director, Andrew Nolan, told BuzzFeed Canada they were notified that there had been complaints about the ads and the board would be reviewing them. The next they heard, the ads were being taken down.

The ads show shirtless men — some embracing — with the tagline "non-stop cruising."

There were 100 ads — 50 of each version — running in subway cars.According to Nolan, one of the ads ran at Wellesley subway station — the closest stop to Toronto's gay village from June to September. It wasn't until it appeared in subway cars that they heard any complaints.
Pink Triangle Press

There were 100 ads — 50 of each version — running in subway cars.

According to Nolan, one of the ads ran at Wellesley subway station — the closest stop to Toronto's gay village from June to September. It wasn't until it appeared in subway cars that they heard any complaints.

Nolan said Squirt was not given details of the complaints made about the ads or the reasoning for pulling them down. However a TTC spokesperson told Metro it was because the site "promoted sex in public places, which is against the law."

Squirt's website mentions cruising as a selling point:

Every city has its own hidden hotspots for cruising. On Squirt.org members list the hottest places to meet other men for sex. With user ratings and details on how to cruise each location, it's easy to find the best parks, beaches, gyms, washrooms, glory holes, and bathhouses in town.

Nolan said that while Squirt has cruising content, it's created by the users.

"The Squirt platform is for men to meet other men, the content on the site is user-driven. Some of that content is cruising content, but if you look at Yelp's website they also have cruising listings," said Nolan.

"I'm not sure whether the TTC would be removing an ad for Yelp."

Nolan said Squirt would like to be advertising on the TTC but "obviously it's difficult for us to move forward without knowing the exact nature of the complaints." In the mean time, Squirt has been sharing other ads the TTC has approved.

@Alvhun @am640oakley Tinder (hookup app) has been advertising in subways

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BuzzFeed Canada has reached out to the TTC for details about the complaints. This post will be updated it they reply.

Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at lauren.strapagiel@buzzfeed.com.

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