Friday, February 15, 2013

Taking on an Offensive Chicago Billboard

This week, a billboard went up in downtown Chicago asserting that the “best kind of job is a blow job.” The ad is from an online company called Arrangement Finders, and the marketing director of the company spoke with RedEye about their approach:

Women using the site are typically seeking low-pressure relationships, and they tend to be in their 30s, sometimes with children ... Two other factors unique to Chicago pushed the company to launch the billboards here: a struggling job market and a 3-to-1 ratio of women to men on the site, the highest in the country.

What we gleaned from this interview is that the company is targeting women who are struggling to find a job and support their children. The billboard makes light of this by suggesting that ideal work for women is a performing oral sex. This is offensive on so many levels, and yet the owner asserts that this is something he thought would “get a chuckle and also start some buzz.”

We don’t think that it’s anything to laugh about when people are exploiting women who are struggling to find employment. Because that’s the target audience—women who are trying to make ends meet. Men who are signing up for this site should know that they’re not providing a job; they’re potentially exploiting women who lack other options.

We believe that this is a human rights issue. Women should not be forced to exchange sex for money in order to avoid poverty, homelessness or hunger. Young men should not need to see messages prominently displayed in our city that embolden them to buy sex.

What can you do? Reach out to Seeking Arrangements and ask them to take down the ad. (Warning: there’s explicit content on this site’s home page)

Or, reach out to the billboard company that is providing space for the ad, Urban Core, and ask them to remove it.