Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lighten up minister!

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Suitcase stickers draw ire of Baird's office
Minister's spokesman says people should 'think twice' about using images

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
CBC News

Two Vancouver entrepreneurs selling eye-catching stickers so travellers can easily identify their luggage say they might consider stopping domestic sales after hearing the reaction from the federal transport minister's office.
Transportation Minister John Baird is in charge of airport security. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
The series of four stickers make it appear that a suitcase has been torn open to reveal something nefarious.

In one sticker, a gagged and bound flight attendant seems to be stuffed in the luggage, another shows packets of cocaine, while another has bundles of money, and the fourth makes it appear the torn bag is filled with sex toys.


The stickers are sold through a website called thecheeky.com.

"Joking around like this could possibly be a serious violation of the Aeronautics Act," said James Kucie, a spokesman for Transport Minister John Baird, told CBC News.

"Joking about potentially trafficking illegal substances, or worse, is not funny, and the government will use the full force of the law to ensure Canadians who travel by air are safe," Kucie said.

"Whoa," was co-creator Colin Hart's reaction when told of the comments from the minister's office.

Stickers meant to help people spot their luggage have also caught the eye of Canada's transportation department. (thecheeky.com)"We don't want to get people in trouble, that's not the plan. We're just a couple of lads here in Vancouver having a bit of fun. We're not scared of this, we just want to make sure that people are OK, and there are no problems," he told CBC News.

Hart and his partner Ryan McCormick say they're surprised by the reaction the stickers are getting.

Since they were launched last week, the pair have sold more than 1,000 of the stickers at $15 apiece. But they say only two per cent of the orders are from Canada.

On Tuesday, there was a spike in sales to people in Germany, with other orders pouring in from Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

A spokesman for Transport Minister John Baird said joking about trafficking illegal substances is not funny. (thecheeky.com)While the pair say they'll abandon sales in Canada if it leads to legal problems, they're not prepared to completely halt sales.

"I can't say if we'll pull it from the global market because the demand is so high," said McCormick.

Baird's office has some advice for anyone who might consider taking a sticker-laden suitcase into an airport.

"People should think twice about using such stickers," Kucie said.

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