Recently, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans were criticized for the slogan they released because many perceived it to be vulgar. Management of the Pelicans organization took the high road and spent the money to change to a more family-friendly slogan. Hats off to that organization for listening to the criticism of the public and making the change.
After the scandal with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans subsided, I was driving on U.S. Hwy 17 Bypass and noticed a certain billboard that was tucked away near 48th Avenue North that showed an advertisement by Lowes Foods stating, “Finally a store grew a pear.” Then, I am driving on S.C. 544 and see another Lowes Foods billboard stating, “Someone needs a kick in the plums.” Each of these billboards showed fruit configured in a manner to depict a part of a male’s anatomy.
With the publicity over the Myrtle Beach Pelican’s misguided marketing, why is it that no one is in an uproar over what Lowes Food marketing campaign has produced? Has no one else recognized the parallel inferred with the Lowes Food billboards? I am amazed that the public has not been as vocal toward Lowes Food as what was directed toward the Pelicans. Are the subtle hints that Lowes Foods advertise less offensive than the not-so-subtle relation the Pelicans had in their marketing campaign?
If the public is going to voice concerns as what is offensive, then the voice must be for everything offensive, not pick and choose. Do we not owe it to the younger generation to teach them what is acceptable to be viewed by the general public? Do we not have a responsibility to teach the younger generation that in order to promote our values, we must promote them equally, and not restrict them to only a certain few?
The decision to allow these marketing campaigns were made by executives of the respective organizations. They were not made by some entry level intern who thought their play on words would not be deciphered. Those who make the decisions need to take a second look at the slogans before being published and ask themselves “Would my mother be offended if she were to read this?”
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.