Hornet Signs of Waco, a bustling metropolis area that many call the Marketing Capitol of Texas, has been receiving the worst kind of publicity for creating a horrific tailgate decal advertisement of a woman tied up and thrown into the back of a truck.
After local and national news agencies reported on the story, one employee responded to criticism of the marketing tactic by calling a woman a “butthurt b-tch who thinks that her retarded opinions are valued.” The Hornet Signs owner Brad Kolb clarified that they don't, like, want you to kidnap and beat up any women, obviously, it was just, like, an experiment.
Here's an experiment: Don't trivialize brutality against women's bodies. Don't normalize the image of a woman being beaten and taken against her will. Don't festishize and commodify domestic violence. Perhaps take a stab at finding a more sustainable customer base than people who like seeing battered women on the highway.
Read more of our tips for Hornet Signs, as well as the company's bizarre response, after the jump.
According to Hornet Signs owner Brad Kolb, the horrific truck decal was “just something that we had to put out there more or less to see who would notice it.” In hopes of avoiding another truck decal nightmare, I've compiled a list of other attention-grabbers that might elicit a more positive response.
• A truck bed full of playful kittens. A controversial image may garner some website traffic, but kittens win the Internet.
• The legendary 18 jars of poop that Dewhurst and the DPS want so badly to exist.
• A large pile of cash money.
• A large pile of drugs.
• A kidnapped alien, Independence Day-style.
But the PR genius behind Hornet Signs probably doesn't need our help. Yesterday the company posted a YouTube video entitled “How far is too far?” which featured a nervous Kolb giving an almost-apology and then begging for Facebook likes. Kolb, if you're still curious, that is too far.
“What began as an experiment in getting a reaction from our local community quickly changed to a nationwide response to a disturbing social issue that too many are faced with today,” began Kolb, which sounds like the beginning of an apology but ends up being another cheapshot plea for sales.
“Hornet Signs and our individual employees do not condone abusive behavior in any form to any individual,” he clarified, although he might want to clear that statement with employee Steve McCollum, who called a woman a “butthurt b-tch” when she called the company a “sellout.”
Kolb then explains that Hornet Signs is donating to a local Waco nonprofit for victims of crime and abuse. A check to a shelter doesn't quite qualify as an apology, but certainly it's a step forward, right?
Don't get excited. Kolb adds, “For every like on our Facebook page from now to the end of the month, we will add [an undisclosed amount]to our initial donation.”