Mayor Rob Ford received the breakfast cereal mascot treatment in Ford Flakes — a honey and almond granola blend on sale online for $40 a pop — created by two Toronto graduate students, who for now have declined to identify themselves.
Ford Flakes takes cues from Airbnb's Obama O's and its cereal counterpart Cap'n McCain's, according to one of the two unidentified creators. The entrepreneurial pair got Bran Romero, the artist behind Airbnb's fictional cereals, to design Ford Flakes, he said. They intend to donate 50 per cent of proceeds to cancer research. The other half covers costs, he said.
The cancer charity that will receive the funds will be revealed eventually, he added.
"I thought the idea was intriguing and felt that a similar idea could be executed here in Toronto for the purpose of generating a substantial donation to cancer research, a charitable cause that means a lot to me," he told CBC News.
"Several individuals in our family have been impacted by [cancer] so making a substantial donation would mean a lot to both of us."
He said the pair reached out to the Fords in August to seek approval to sell the product.
"We decided it was in our best interests to contact the Fords early on and to ask for their blessing. Doug was very friendly and thought the product was great," he said, adding that the Fords had no role in the making of Ford Flakes.
The 20-something creator stressed the concept was long underway before Rob Ford's cancer diagnosis in September.
"We contacted Brian Romero in July and began the process then. All of our inventory was purchased before Rob Ford became ill," he said.
On Twitter, the duo has received some chilly feedback by some who consider the cereal in poor taste given Ford's health plight.
"There will always be people who do or don't approve of what you're trying to accomplish. I think it's important to realize that this product was completed and all inventory was purchased prior to Rob Ford becoming diagnosed with cancer, so there was never any [ill intent]."
If their 500-box inventory is sold, the creators say they hope to donate up to $10,000 to a cancer charity.