Apparently, pick-up artists—men who make a sport out of trying to pick up women—have become such a problem at Toronto’s Eaton Centre, the mall must now sweep them away like a flock of unruly pigeons.
This was sent out on Twitter Friday around 3 p.m.:
We have been alerted to a Pick Up Artists (PUA) meet up at 5pm. Rest assured security is briefed & your health & safety are our top priority
— Toronto Eaton Centre (@toeatoncentre) December 6, 2013
The response came after a woman posted on Reddit Thursday night that she had been approached multiple times by 20-something men who “seemed like they were spewing a pitch to me.” Nonetheless, “it’s left me feeling very uncomfortable going there on my own,” she said.
The source of her discomfort was revealed by another user who posted details of an event in which men were meeting up at the Eaton Centre to pick up as many women as possible. In “BEAST MODE” no less, which apparently amounts to a shotgun strategy of awkwardly approaching as many lone ladies as you can.
The Meetup group used to organize the event appears to have been deleted. Likely, unwanted press from Reddit and Toronto Life drove these aspiring love gurus back into hiding. Now that the the Eaton Centre has threatened to unleash security on them, they may just stay there. (Or harass women somewhere else.)
As for the Eaton Centre’s tweet, given it has about 200 retweets (and counting) plus a lot of favourable replies, it’s safe to say this was a savvy PR move. Not that that should discredit the admirable response, however; as Phillip Haid of PUBLIC Inc. explains in this interview with Canadian Business, doing good and doing business needn’t be exclusive.