As we all know by now, Toronto mayor Rob Ford has a drinking problem and has smoked crack at least once. Whether it was just one “in one of [his] drunken stupors” or whether he was covertly purchasing drugs from suspected dealer and known personal friend Sandro Lisi all summer, we know he’s done it.
People in Toronto are, understandably, taking the revelations quite seriously. There is a grassroots movement to force the mayor out of office since he won’t go on his own, and there is concern about his health. But according to the CBC, there’s something far more serious that needs to be addressed.
Rob Ford’s drug use is hurting Toronto’s brand.
Ryerson professor Gabor Forgacs says the scandal ” ‘weakens the brand, it distorts it, and it gives us media [coverage] all over the world that is undesirable.’ ” While Toronto has “cultivated an image as an ethnically diverse, culturally rich, financially vibrant world-class city,” Ford’s substance abuse and alleged racism, sexism and homophobia are working against that “hard-won reputation.”
Unfortunately for the people who may feel abused by a rich dude who ran for mayor when he clearly wasn’t ready for the job, and even for Rob Ford, who’s obviously got some personal stuff to work on, Toronto’s brand is the biggest victim here.
Hopefully everyone in Toronto can set aside their differences and work together to repair their city’s brand. In 2013, literally nothing is worse than having a B-grade brand.
[CBC] [image via Shaun Merritt/Flickr]