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Toronto Crime Stoppers breaks retail theft campaign

Toronto Crime Stoppers has begun a public service campaign intended to educate consumers about retail theft. The campaign, developed by DDB Canada of Toronto, encourages consumers to watch for suspicious activity in stores during the holiday shopping season and to vote for more severe penalties for organized retail theft.

The effort consists of flyers, street posters and in-store materials, as well as newspaper, radio and online advertising. The creative is designed to resemble an ad for a store sale, but with the prices marked-up instead of discounted to illustrate the extra cost being passed to consumers. The campaign also includes a website at ItCostsUsAll.com that provides additional information.

"Organized retail theft is often perceived as harmless shoplifting, when in fact it's a lucrative, criminal enterprise and part of the business plan for gangs funding other illegal activities," said Sean Sportun, vice-chair of Toronto Crime Stoppers. "It's a high-reward, low penalty crime, which is why we are working with our retail partners to bring awareness to this growing issue.  We're asking the public to have their say for stiffer penalties and to contact Crime Stoppers to anonymously report suspected cases of organized retail theft."

The initiative is being conducted in association with Boma Toronto, Building Technologies, Facecrook, Interac Association, Loblaw Companies, Mac's Convenience Stores, the Retail Council of Canada, Sobeys and TJX Canada.

Flyer delivery has been donated by Metroland Media. In-store advertising is taking place at HomeSense, Loblaws, Mac's, Marshalls, Sobeys and Winners. Street posters in Toronto were provided by Grassroots Advertising. Print ads are running in the Toronto Sun, 24 Hours Toronto and Tonight. Radio advertising is airing on 98.1 CHFI, 99.9 Virgin Radio, 102.1 The Edge, 104.5 CHUM FM, 680 News, Boom FM, FLOW 93.5, JAZZ.FM91, KISS 92.5, News Talk 1010, Q-107, Sportsnet 590 The FAM, Talk Radio AM 640, TSN 1050 and Z103.5.

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