The Billboard Controversy

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I’m sure most of you would know by now about this billboard that has become a huge topic of debate and controversy. This ad first came out a few days ago and already is now being boycotted and taken down.

The billboard is sponsored by Fetman, Garland & Associates, Ltd., an all woman law firm that specializes in divorce cases and is the idea of Corri Fetman. Her statement to the media is, and I quote “Law firm advertising is boring…Everything’s always the same. It’s lawyers in libraries with a suit on and the law books behind them. They don’t say anything. What, I should hire you because you have a law degree? C’mon. So we wanted to try something different.”

The Offense: It suggests that married men and women could have better namely this perfect bodied man and woman in this billboard. Hence I think it trivializes divorce and further demeans marriage. It promotes divorce in an already exponentially exploding divorce rate country!

The Defense: ” Lawyers don’t cause divorces. People cause divorces,” “If you think somebody’s going to look at a billboard and go out and get a divorce as a result, you’re insulting the intelligence of people. If that’s the case, our next billboard is going to read, ‘Gimme Your Money.”

I do think what the billboard suggests is very demeaning. The woman with the perfect body and the man with the perfect abs “calling out” to you to get out of your marriage? There definitely is something creepy and unethical about it.

But on the other hand, there are thousands of people stuck in bad marriage in this country. They have no moral and physical support to get out of it. Especially the thousands who are at this very moment in very serious and life threatening situations like verbal, mental or physical abuse. This billboard is their calling.

But again, in my opinion, I’m not sure if this law firm had such helpless people in mind at all. The way this ad was made and the image that was put in it makes me believe otherwise.

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2 Responses

  1. Do you think people would look at the billboard with an abused person?? Probably that is the reason why they used these bodies. Does this billboard increase the number of divorces?? Well, if some one is as frivolous as to go get divorced just because they saw a billboard…they might as well not be married!!
    As you have written, hope the abused people in marriages have this as a calling…but I doubt it. Most of them are in denial or stay in the relationship for some reason or the other.
    Is the billboard unethical or demeaning? Demeaning -probably, unethical – not so sure. The firm wants a catchy billboard. And they got more than they were hoping for with all the controversy 🙂 Once we start looking at ad campaigns in detail, there are so many that are demeaning, and most of the time stupid! But the billboard is definitely creepy!!!

  2. Oh yeah, once we start digging into marketing and advertisement in any form, especially in a capitalistic country like this, it opens a can of worms. They mostly are demeaning and stereo typical, If not either, they turn out to be extremely stupid and silly (like u said!)

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