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Titillating Billboards Create Cleavage of Opinion

Posted January 28, 2008
Updated January 29, 2008

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— Some people, including a Fayetteville City Council member, question of legality of some billboards in town that advertise plastic surgery.

The signs for Cape Fear Plastic Surgery depict a close-up of a woman's cleavage and a thin woman in a string bikini.

The Rev. Brian Woodall, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, said members of his congregation are appalled that one of the billboards – a digital sign measuring 36 feet wide by 10 feet high – is posted right outside their church on Raeford Road.

"Some have said, 'Pastor, have you seen that sign?' I said, 'Yeah, unfortunately,'" Woodall said. "It's certainly not in good taste."

The owner of Cape Fear Plastic Surgery couldn't be reached Monday for comment.

Hal Kilshaw, a spokesman for Lamar Advertising, which owns the billboards, said the images comply with the company's standards. The pictures are "on television, in magazines and all sorts of media" and clearly meet community standards, he said.

But Councilman D.J. Haire said the ads are too revealing and are inappropriate to appear on such large signs.

"I wonder how women feel about that. That was one of the first things that I thought," Haire said, adding that he also thought about his children. "(I wonder) what kind of questions they would ask me, like they used to when they were with us riding around town."

After some of his constituents complained, Haire said, he asked the city's legal department about regulating suggestive billboards. City Attorney Karen McDonald told him the pictures aren't considered obscene under state law, however, and any restrictions on ad content could infringe on free speech.

"What about the freedom of speech of those who feel that their First Amendment rights are being crushed? What about those who say this is wrong?" Haire asked.

Douglas Displays, the Charlotte agency that designed the billboards, said in a statement Monday that the ads are "tastefully and professionally done" and are appropriate for a plastic surgery practice.

"These ads are intended to promote Cape Fear Plastic Surgery and visually highlight the results of plastic surgery," the statement said. "We do not deem a bikini-clad model used on a billboard to be any different from a bikini-clad model in a newspaper sales insert or a television commercial."

Woodall said he doesn't think the billboards belong in Fayetteville.

"I'm not against advertising in any way, but there are more appropriate ways to advertise than putting that kind of thing on the screen," he said. “Even if our church wasn’t here and I was driving along and had my child in the back, I wouldn’t want to see that.”


This story is closed for comments.

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  • polar3 Jan 29, 2008

    I think they are fantastic, really. Who would go anywhere else for plastic surgery with that photographic evidence?

  • avalanche74 Jan 29, 2008

    Wow, I never would of guessed a billboard with a nice set of breasts on it would have garnered this amount of responses. God made breasts too, I am sure he enjoys them.

  • Voice of Reason 23 Jan 29, 2008

    "What ever happened to personal space. Why must people who are more sensitive to "things" always be made out to be radical or bad? These people just don't want a "suggestive" billboard next door. What is the problem??"

    LOL - this isn't personal space. This is public space.

    It's not that you are sensitive that makes it bad. It's that you are trying to force others to change their perfectly legal behavior in a public space, just because it bothers you, that's bad.

  • Freakazoid Jan 29, 2008

    What ever happened to personal space. Why must people who are more sensitive to "things" always be made out to be radical or bad? These people just don't want a "suggestive" billboard next door. What is the problem??

  • merrywidow Jan 29, 2008

    Hey, there's nothing wrong with lust! Lust was one of the things that kept my 20 year marriage hot: my husband and loved AND lusted for each other the whole time. When I became a widow it was lust that helped me get through an extremely hard time. Lust made me feel ALIVE!!!

    And there's nothing wrong with the human body or breasts. I'm a woman and I'm not offended by that pic. There's no sex act or even an implied one involved.

    No one seems to remember that women who go through masectomies sometimes want to have breast surgery. Sheesh!

  • dwntwnboy Jan 29, 2008

    If the human form is made in the image of your favorite deity, then what is the problem. It's not all about lust and sex. What about the women who need to have or want to have surgery to repair damages done by breast cancer or some other ailment or injury? People worry about the silliest things.

  • talkabout Jan 29, 2008

    If I had a choice of looking at some busty picture on a billboard or a scripture / picture of Jesus on the cross...UH my money is on the busty picture. Besides people...IT'S A BILLBOARD you have the RIGHT to NOT look at it and you have the RIGHT to put up your OWN billboard. Lead by example, or just get out of the way!

  • ataggert86 Jan 29, 2008

    voice well said even the congergation could use it as a reminder of that

  • ataggert86 Jan 29, 2008

    Roger what are you talking about. Elaborate

  • Voice of Reason 23 Jan 29, 2008

    As far as it being right outside a church, any skilled minister could easily just turn this into a sermon to teach his parisioners about how sins are all around. "Lust is just outside the door." He could teach them how to handle temptation which is everywhere.