Local News

Word censored on Raleigh salon/bar billboard

Posted June 24, 2009

— After three years in business, Primp SalonBar has made a name for itself for its spa services and cocktails.

“We call it a lifestyle,” owner Lainie Panos said.

To spread the word about her business, Panos paid for billboards around Raleigh advertising the salon’s “cut, color and cocktails.” Those words were featured on the billboard for nine months, until an officer with the state’s Alcohol Law Enforcement division saw the sign.

Panos said the agent told her the woman and the drink shown on the sign were fine, but the word “cocktails” was a violation of North Carolina law.

Word censored on Raleigh salon/bar billboard Salon/Bar forced to change billboard

ALE agents said businesses with a mixed beverage permit, like Primp, cannot advertise that they sell mixed beverages through the use of billboards or outdoor signs.

“It’s ridiculous,” salon customer Kelly Seymour said. “I mean, what’s the big deal about a cocktail?”

Agents said they were only following the law.

Panos said she simply wasn't aware of the law. She now hides the word with a “censored” sign.

“Put something in hot pink and call it ‘censored’ and it really gets people curious,” Panos said.

Since the sign change, Panos said the salon, located at 401 N. West St., has been getting more phone calls.

“Hopefully, I’ve raised a few eyebrows,” she said.

Panos says the new ad is strictly a marketing campaign and she does not plan to lobby to change any laws.

The ALE said with certain restrictions, businesses can advertise the sale of alcohol through other media like newspapers and radio stations with restrictions.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • metricula Jun 26, 2009

    It's time for a lot of blue laws to go. I'm glad the "censored" sign is working out so well for her.

  • seeingthru Jun 25, 2009

    what a waste of time ---plain stupid law

  • noreplytome2 Jun 25, 2009

    The yankees move here, but complain about the rules once they get here. Yankee don't like it, yankee go home!

  • shortcake53 Jun 25, 2009

    ooo pleaseeeeeeee THIS is such a pressing matter that it makes headlines??? The news is filled with missing children, murders, armed robberies, economic failures, but they go after a billboard??? I have seen the billboard before the censor, found it amusing. Matter of fact, i trim my hair, color it and drink a beer here at home while im doing it! Same effect, only cheaper, lol. Seriously, effort should be used to solve much more pressing problems. This is ridiculous.

  • davidbh61255 Jun 25, 2009

    So this is what they really do in Raleigh instead of investigating crooked officials!

  • baron2ci Jun 25, 2009

    I think if the legislature is looking for budget cuts, ALE should be the first to go.

  • xjrobx Jun 24, 2009

    Complaining about what legislators do is one thing but ALE is the biggest waste of government resources that we drain down the toilet each year. Why don't they train them to go hunt down some rapists or something. Writing parking tickets is more useful and moral than what they do.

    ALE agents are like a morality police to tax people from not following ridiculous laws meant to draw revenue or pretend to uphold some absurdly irrelevant law.

    I don't blame the ALE agents but the idiots who could pool those resources elsewhere for something more useful than sending in 20 year olds to buy beer from a gas station. I mean really... you're telling ME that 20 YEAR OLDS drink BEER.... OHHH Noooo! The fabric of morality is collapsing under the dark banner of Satan.

  • Fuquay Resident Jun 24, 2009

    y'all this isn't a new law. This law was probably passed many many years ago. If WRAL did a story about them changing the law, there would be people on here complaining that the legislators shuld spend their time on more important things than changing billboard laws.

  • acceptorchange Jun 24, 2009

    Yep! Another stupid North Carolina law introduced by some prude and passed by other prudes. Do you reckon their spouses have even seen them naked? Bet they even wash the sheets immediately after making love. Geesh!

  • Myword Jun 24, 2009

    maybe they could replace "cocktails" with "booze" ...