Should Boston Block a Sex Toy Giveaway at City Hall Plaza?

City personnel have asked the Trojan condom company's marketing firm to find an alternative site - something with not as many young families.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino does not want the famed Trojan condom company handing out sex toys at City Hall Plaza.

The city's properties chief, Michael Galvin, has written to Massivemedia, the marketing firm for the condom company, asking them find a more suitable place for their giveaway. No date has been proposed for the sex toy giveaway, as the company is still looking for a location in Boston.

"I am told the public nature of the plaza affords you legal protection to distribute these products should you insist against our objections, but I would tell you in the strongest terms allowable that I feel this is an inappropriate and irresponsible use for the plaza," wrote Galvin in the letter.

Trojan's Bruce Weiss, vice president of marketing for Trojan Sexual Health, said they hoped to have success in Boston, as they did in New York City, “We were pleased to work with the City of New York to make the Trojan Vibrations giveaway a huge success and hope to do the same in Boston. The interest level in this promotion was phenomenal and proves just how mainstream vibrators have become. We’re excited to get the Trojan Vibrations Pleasure Carts back on the road and hope to bring the buzz to Bostonians next!”

He added, “We will continue to work in partnership with the City of Boston to find the right location to host the Trojan vibrator giveaway and are exploring all options. We want this to be a pleasurable experience for everyone.”

But Boston may not be able to stop the sex toy giveaway from using the plaza, because it's a public place where the giveaway would be constitutionally protected. This is similar to when Menino wanted to stop Chick-Fil-A from opening a store in Boston. The mayor objected statements the restaurant chain's President made about same-sex marriage.

Expanding use of City Hall Plaza to raise revenue is often a topic for Boston politicians, as the large space is often underused. Back in July, the City Council amended the city charter to allow rental of the plaza for fees. The measure was meant to create a sliding scale for renting the plaza. 

What do you think? Is Boston City Hall Plaza not an appropriate place for a sex toy giveaway? Does that matter because it's a public spot? Where would be a good place for a sex toy giveaway in Boston?

Rosa S October 19, 2012 at 04:13 PM
As long as Trojan staff steer clear of children than I dont see what the problem is. Its actually harmless if you compare it to a free candy car or soda....
Timothy Crawford October 19, 2012 at 07:51 PM
So it's okay for schools to give out condoms to teens without the parents knowledge, okay to have a parade to celebrate gay sexuality but no toys for the ladies and no chicken sandwich for you!!!! God I love this city!!
username October 20, 2012 at 01:55 PM
let's work on finding you a new place to live! I will help you pack.
Kim Airs October 22, 2012 at 03:12 PM
First, these vibrators can pass as "massagers" because they are so benign looking. Yes, they hand out free condoms but do guys protest? Of course not! AND these vibrators sell for $19.95, $29.95 and $39.95 so they are helping out the economic climate as well. And sex with a vibrator is the safest sex you can have, that's for sure! So lighten up Boston! It's why I opened Grand Opening! in Brookline in 1993. Thanks!
MPreston January 18, 2013 at 05:15 AM
Is the maker of these toys getting free advertising or free marketing ? If so, why doesn't the maker do the give away from a store that sells the product ?


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