Hornet Signs, a Waco Texas based printing company, should probably start looking for a new advertising director. As a promotion for their products, the company printed a decal that featured a woman, bound and tied, curled up in the bed of a pick up truck.
The image of a blonde woman in jeans, her hands bound and tied, hair obscuring her face, was placed on the back of a Hornet employee’s pick up truck to showcase how realistic the company’s signs look. After seeing the decal, multiple residents phoned the police, fearful for the woman’s well being.
The photo, which a female employee of Hornet Signs willingly posed for, caused controversy immediately after being brought to the public’s attention on Monday. In just a few hours, the company’s Facebook page was plastered with angry reactions.
"I wasn't expecting the reactions that we got, nor was it really anything we certainly condone or anything else," Hornet Signs owner Brad Kolb told KWTX News 10. "But it was just something...we had to put out there to see who notices it."
Had to? Really?
People did notice, but not entirely for the reasons Kolb had hoped. While Hornet Signs did see an influx in tailgate decal orders, the majority of reactions were negative, which started an important dialogue about violence against women. In the face of such (well-deserved) backlash, Kolb has since removed and burned the decal. Hornet Signs has also donated $2,500 to the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children in Waco.
"As we said, we don't condone what we put on the tailgate by any means," Kolb said, “but we want to keep attention on this in a positive way now, and see how much good we can do for the Advocacy center here in town."
It’s frustrating that it took such a large volume of backlash and protesting for Kolb to decide that he didn’t condone an image that he and his company clearly posed, printed, and produced in the first place. Exploiting the very real problem of violence towards women for the sake of selling signs is disgusting, and both Kolb and his company need to drastically reevaluate the way they view women…and advertising strategies.
Thanks to KWTX 10
Images courtesy of KWTX 10