A small marketing company in Waco, TX, was looking to drum up its decal business, so the owner decided to try a tactic that would get some attention. Photographing one of his female employees tied up and crumpled in a heap, he then turned that image into a very realistic tailgating decal, which was then applied to a company truck and ridden around town.
Hornet Signs' owner Brad Kolb, who came up with idea, told news station KWTX his decal has gotten his business a lot of attention, albeit some of it negative. "I wasn't expecting the reactions we got, nor do we condone this by any means."
It's a curious statement. On the one hand, Kolb says he doesn't condone violence against women, while on the other, he conceived and created a truck decal illustrating exactly that, and admits to enjoying the spike in business it's brought him.
It's not as if the image carries a tagline admonishing abuse against women; instead it's presented without comment, and it's meant to be a joke—because a woman beaten and tied up is hilarious.
When the image was posted on the KWTX Facebook page, it received the expected mix of outrage and eye-rolling; some commenters found it horrifying, and others accused critics of lacking "a sense of humor." More wondered how to explain the image to their kids when they're driving around Waco and happen to see it.
While the Hornet Signs' decal is just inescapably awful, it's also right in line with a multitude of other companies who like to illustrate brutality against women, and present it in a very casual way, often as the punchline of a joke. Domestically and abroad, violating women continues to be a popular theme, not just in advertising, but in all forms of pop culture.
The big news isn't that it happened again, it's answering the question, when is it going to stop?
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