The Tale Of Two Billboards
Ten-story vaginas are OK. Ads criticizing insurance companies are not.
Apparently, that’s the way of the billboard world in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In Koreatown, a billboard that read "Consumer Watchdog Says: ‘You Can’t Trust Mercury Insurance’" was dismantled last week after the company complained to CBS Outdoor. The billboard was preapproved by CBS Outdoor and was up for almost two weeks before Mercury’s lawyers applied pressure, The Times reported.
Yet a few blocks away, there’s an Absolut Mango ad that wins our coveted "Outstanding Achievement in Vaginal Art" award. Actually the billboard is kind of tasteful — well, as tasteful as a giant vagina can be. It does have a certain Edvard Munch vibe to it. Think "The Scream" meets the female anatomy.
As tasteful as it may be, it seems strange which billboard is still standing today.
"Truth is more controversial than pornography," Consumer Watchdog founder Harvey Rosenfield told the Times.
Rosenfield, who stands by the billboard’s claims, has posted the "Top Ten Reasons You Can’t Trust Mercury Insurance" on consumerwatchdog.org.
Mercury had this to say about the billboard:
"CBS apparently has considered our comments and, as a responsible organization, has removed the defamatory statements from their billboard. Consumer Watchdog’s claims about Mercury Insurance and its motivation are without merit."
In the response to the incident, Rosenfield says, he’s thinking about running for state insurance commissioner and Consumer Watchdog is considering a lawsuit.