Toronto

Critics want Ontario to 'Flick Off' campaign

Opposition parties are blasting the Ontario government for supporting a campaign aimed at getting young people to cut energy use and suggestively titled "Flick Off."

Opposition parties are blasting the Ontario government for supporting a campaign aimed at getting young people to cut energy use and suggestively titled "Flick Off."

Launched Wednesday by Environment Minister Laurel Broten and British billionaire Richard Branson, the tongue-in-cheek campaignalludes to a four-letter word and the logo uses a typeface thatmakes the capitalletters"L" and "I" look likea "U."

The campaign's websiteuses such phrases as "Go flick yourself," and "Are we flicked?"

On the homepage, a call to action says: "We need you to FLICK OFF, and tell everyone you know to FLICK OFF. The more you do it, the cooler it gets. The planet, that is."

NDP critic Peter Kormos says the government's endorsement of the campaign will anger parents concerned about the use of foul language by their children.

"It's silly, it's embarrassing, and clearly it's an ad agency that has a bunch of flickin' amateurs as employees," said Kormos.

Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory echoed Kormos's sentiments, though not as strongly.

"I say it's a bad judgment," said Tory. "It shouldn't be done this way. There are plenty of ways to educate kids without using language like this."

Broten said she sees nothing wrong with the government's endorsement of a campaign encouraging people to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"It's a suitable website for youth. It's a campaign directed at youth," she said.

Others backing the campaign include Environmental Defence, MuchMusic, Roots Canada and Virgin Mobile.

Branson, founder of the Virgin empire and an airline tycoon, has already promised millions to fight global warming.

As part of the campaign, a cross-Canada challenge will be launched in coming weeks awarding a music festival to the city or community that cuts its emissions most per capita over the summer months.