November 12, 2013 6:08 pm

‘Ford Nation’ T-shirts featuring Ford Motor Company logo appear at city hall

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds a Rob Ford bobblehead doll at Toronto city hall on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Hundreds of people lined up to be the first to own a Mayor Rob Ford bobblehead.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford bobbleheads weren’t the only items being autographed by the mayor Tuesday at city hall.

People waiting in line for a chance to purchase one of the miniature dolls were dressed in “Ford Nation” T-shirts featuring the Ford Motor Company logo.

Pictures of the mayor signing the T-shirts for smiling supporters popped up on social media.

The bobbleheads went on sale Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. at $20 apiece, which later appeared for resale online for $500.

The mayor’s brother, councillor Doug Ford, said the long line “speaks volumes” to the mayor’s popularity. “I don’t think there’s a politician in the country including the prime minister that could have bobblehead dolls and have them line up around the corner,” he said.


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Chris Eby, a senior consultant with the Toronto crisis communications firm Navigator, said it’s difficult to gauge whether the mayor has the support of the public or if people are just making fun of the mayor.

“It’s hard to know, because what we have are anecdotal accounts of people interacting with the mayor. There’s no question that the mayor has a certain celebrity more so than any mayor we have seen recently,” said Eby.

“People want to get his autograph and get a picture with the mayor but in this day and age we don’t make a distinction between fame and infamy. We don’t separate the good fame from the bad fame.”

READ MORE: Continuing coverage of the Rob Ford scandal

Tuesday’s event at city hall comes just days after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine and one day before Toronto councillors will vote on a motion Wednesday to ask the mayor to take a leave of absence.

As for the T-shirts, Eby says it’s doubtful Ford Canada will comment on the use of their trademarked logo.

“No one wants to touch this. The Ford Motor [company] won’t want to associate themselves with this in any way. Even acknowledging this would make a connection,” he said.

Global News contacted Ford Canada but has not received a reply.

Ford tweeted this afternoon that it did not grant permission to use its logo.

-With a file from James Armstrong

© Shaw Media, 2013

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