16 January, 2008

Tasteful Chicken?

There’s no genius advertising in this campaign, just a guy in a chicken suit on the side of the road holding a sign and waving an American flag. But according to the Woodland Park local government, he's in bad taste--and in violation of state sign laws. They want him gone.

As a copywriter, what grabbed my attention was a quote in the
Colorado Springs Gazette from Wild Wings ‘n Things owner Lisa Branden, “He is my main source of advertising….He is my primary method for letting people know I am here.”

Someone sell these people a freakin’ sign!

Further research uncovered an article in this week’s
Mountain Jackpot, in which Chicken Man attended a local town meeting along with 100 other Woodland Park, Colorado merchants, some wearing t-shirts with the slogan “Don’t Choke Our Chicken” to show their support.

This somewhat silly story starts with the issue of tacky advertising and launches into issues of freedom of speech for advertisers and whether legislators have the right to regulate bad taste.

This past spring, these billboards in Chicago and Glenview, Illinois, respectively, were taken down due to public outcry.
With regards to the FGA Law billboard, according toWBBM Newsradio 780, the issue of poor taste was not directly addressed by local government as the firm did not have the proper permit for a commercial sign in that location anyway. In other words, the slimy message was not what got the ad pulled; it was the bureaucracy--which one could argue has a special brand of sliminess all its own.

For the moment, it looks like Chicken Man will maintain his snowy post, but this is apparently a growing issue from the Second City to bedroom communities tucked into the Rockies.


Maybe Wild Wings ’n Things founder Mike Morris said it best, “I think it’s a freedom of speech issue. I think we should be able to walk down the street in any costume we want.” Maybe not.

What did Chicken Man have to say about all of this?

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Branden stated, “He does not talk. He’s a chicken."


Captain Awesome, Project Specialist

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2 others 'fessed up:

CresceNet,  January 16, 2008 at 2:07 PM  

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M.M.McDermott January 17, 2008 at 11:27 AM  

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