Toronto city councillor Mike Layton wrote a letter to the Argos president Bob Nicholson, stating:
“While I understand the intended meaning, my concern is the unintended consequences. In the context of domestic violence, the ad insinuates that domestic violence in the home is acceptable or normal. The ad may also trigger traumatic responses in the many survivors of domestic violence who are courageously moving forward with their lives.”
David Bedford, the Argos' VP Marketing replied, "It's very clear it's a football player in a football uniform talking about promoting the opening game for a football team. I think it's pretty common knowledge that football is a contact sport and a physical game."
He did, however, add:
"We didn't look at it in the context of domestic violence and we probably should have, given that we've had a handful of complaints."
It's pretty understandable, both how the ad got approved and why people complained — especially considering the links between pro sports and domestic violence. Perhaps we can just chalk it up to learning experience.