Billboard Controversy - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Billboard Controversy

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

It's a brake pumping sight that has people on Signal Mountain Boulevard buzzing.

"I had to take a double take," said Paul Shirley, a local businessman, "it looks kindly strange, until you look at it really good."

The billboard reads, "she's tired of waiting." It's a local jeweler's latest tag line paired with a picture of a woman giving the finger - the ring finger.

"If you look at it twice you ought to get a chuckle," said Barry Schenck of M.M. Schenck Jeweler, "that's what we are hoping for."

Schenck says it's not the first time he's paid to post more than a dozen billboards before Christmas, but this latest stunt is getting feedback.

"It's sort of putting a lot of pressure on young men to ask their girlfriends to marry them," said Carolyn Miller of Chattanooga.

Critics say Schenck's ploy is in bad taste, but Schenck stands behind the scheme. He says the woman in the picture is no actress.

"She is single, she does have a boyfriend, and she is waiting," said Schenck.

We met the woman behind the finger, who's also an employee. She says the billboard was all in good fun.

"All women I feel at one point in their life are going to want that question," said Carla Fernandez, "and when they get tired of waiting, those fingers are going to fly up."

When those fingers fly up Schenck is hoping to answer the call. He says on the heels of a recession he had to do something to draw customers, and whether it's insulting or inspiring, it's an image that's here to stay.

"Of course in advertising that's exactly what you want," said Schenck, "at least talk about me, good or bad."

 

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