A group of signs purporting to promote the mayoral campaign of an unnamed "Wife-beating, racist drunk" were posted on University Avenue on Tuesday morning.

The black-and-white signs did not identify a particular individual, though they appeared to be an attack on frontrunner mayoral candidate Rob Ford, the long-time Ward 2 Councillor in North Etobicoke.

Ford's director of communications, Adrienne Batra, told ctvtoronto.ca that it was "really unfortunate that someone chose to do this without making themselves known."

In a telephone interview, Batra explained that the campaign became aware of the signs after being contacted by a member of the media on Tuesday morning.

They were taken down by the mid-morning.

"My understanding was that an average citizen saw them and took them down himself," Batra said.

Batra said Ford's campaign did not want the matter investigated as that would give the signs greater attention.

She said the signs were evidence that Ford's enemies will "do anything to stop" him from becoming mayor.

Bill Blakes, a manager in the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division for the City of Toronto, told ctvtoronto.ca in a brief telephone interview on Tuesday afternoon that the city does not "condone or permit libellous election signs."

If information comes forward about who is responsible for putting up the signs on University Avenue, it will be investigated, he said.

Since announcing his mayoral campaign, Ford has become an unexpected frontrunner in the race to replace the outgoing David Miller.

He has painted himself as an opponent of City Hall and its alleged culture of entitlement, an approach that has seen him take the lead in the polls.

But his campaign has been dogged by controversy at times, as Ford has answered questions about prior brushes with the law and made controversial statements about refugees, AIDS and cyclists.