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Offensive billboards? you decide

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published May 13, 2007

In Chicago, a billboard proclaiming Life's short. Get a divorce caused such an uproar that city workers stripped it from its downtown perch after a week, according to the Associated Press.

What was so offensive about the sign? It showed a partially clothed man and woman with the message, "Life's short. Get a divorce." It drew scores of complaints from neighbors and from other attorneys who said it reflected poorly on their profession, the wire service reported.

Lawyers Corri Fetman and Kelly Garland objected to the billboard being ripped down, saying there was no due process. "We own that art. I feel violated," Fetman said.

A city alderman, Burton Natarus, who lives nearby, found a technical reason to have the advertisement taken down: The lawyers did not have a permit.

So, how offended were Chicagoans? According to Attys. Fetman and Garland, calls to their firm have increased dramatically since the billboard went up.

The good people of Chicago who objected don't know what offensive is when it comes to lawyers selling their wares.

In the Mahoning Valley, residents are forced to look at one mug in particular (and a not so attractive one, at that) day after day. Add to that David Betras' reputation as a media hound he even has a half-hour infomercial that he disguises as a talk show and what Valley residents have to contend with defines offensive. And yet, no one has attempted to rip down Betras' signs.

As a public service, this blog offers a look-see at the Chicago billboard and the one that litters the Valley's skyline. You decide which is more appealing. Just click on the pictures below.

Billboard by Betras

Billboard by Betras

Billboard by Chicago Lawyer

Billboard by Chicago Lawyer

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