The Angel of the North’s wings have been turned into a 170ft vaporizer by a growing firm as part of their expansion campaign.
Vaping specialist VPZ beamed an image of one of its vaporizers onto the steel statue’s wings earlier this week, as it announced plans to create new jobs in the area.
The firm, formerly known as Vaporized, already has eight North East shops including two in Newcastle, but is planning to open four new stores and invest around £200,000 into the region.
To mark the growth plans and the rebrand, VPZ not only projected its logo onto the 177ft wingspan of the Angel of the North, but also beamed images of a vaporizer and its logo onto Baltic art gallery, Newcastle Castle, St James’ Park, Newcastle University, the Civic Centre and the Millennium Bridge.
VPZ, however, didn’t get permission to shine the images on the Angel of the North from Gateshead Council.
A clause was added to the original agreement at its creator Antony Gormley’s insistence when work on the Angel began in 1994, refusing permission to light the Angel.
Although the council owns the Angel, the clause was agreed with Mr Gormley to protect the integrity of the sculpture and ensure that it is enjoyed by the public.
VPZ follows in the footsteps of many firms to risk being ticked off by local authorities and the angel’s creator by beaming an image onto its wings.
Three years ago, the clothing and homeware retailer BHS flashed the words #SaveBHS against a Union Jack background on to the Angel’s wings.
In 2016 Brexit campaigners Vote Leave projected a brash slogan “Vote Leave, Take Control”, prompting a solicitor’s letter claiming that the projection “suggested a false endorsement” for its campaign – the Angel was also part-funded by EU cash.
In May 2014, Morrisons beamed a baguette on to the Angels’ wings as part of a new advertising campaign and Tourism Ireland also fell foul of council rules in 2011 when it tried to light the Angel green for St Patrick’s day.
Over Christmas pranksters climbed to the top of the angel to place a Santa hat on its head – which was later removed by The Grinch.
The stunt came as VPZ announced it will open new stores in Ashington, Peterlee, Chester-Le-Street and Blyth, creating 12 new jobs, with further locations to be identified over the next 12 months.
The latest stores have been announced as VPZ, launched in Edinburgh seven years ago, forges ahead with ambitious growth plans to treble its store footprint to 300 in the UK by 2021.
Director Doug Mutter said: “We are very well established in the North East and this latest investment strengthens our position as the number one vaping specialist throughout the area.
“The rebrand to VPZ gives us a stand out presence on the High Street in a growing marketplace, whilst still staying recognizable to our loyal customers throughout the North East and the rest of the UK.
“As we forge ahead with our growth plans our strategy will continue to be about exploring new locations in the region as more people learn of the health benefits of vaping over smoking.”
Public Health England estimates that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Latest figures also show that approximately two million people in the UK have already quit smoking by switching to vaping, with 500,000 more presently trying to switch.
Source : Chroniclelive