A billboard advertising plastic surgery in Jackson, Mich., received an unexpected facelift over the weekend to the delight of more than one observer, Michigan Live reported. The display ad for Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery, which is setting up shop in the small city, proclaims “Friends don’t let friends muffin top” beside a photo of two corn muffins stuffed into blue jeans. Though the billboard has been up since May, vandals spray-painted their own message onto it over the weekend. On Monday, commuters saw the slogan and the Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery office logo covered in paint, while two smiley faces appear on the muffins. And at the top of the billboard, the vandals had scrawled, “You’re Beautiful!”
Tammy Nelis, office manager at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery in Jackson, believes the cosmetic enhancement of the billboard appeared sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday morning. "It's truly an unfortunate situation," Nelis told Michigan Live. "We'll be making a police report."
One reason some cannot help but to jeer is this is not the first time the plastic surgery practice has offended the community with their, should we say, comic sensibility? Their original billboards, according to some, may have been even worse. Those display ads showed two white disposable coffee cups with the smaller one labeled ‘B’ and the larger one labeled ‘D.’ The tagline read: "Size matters." After online protests against the coffee cups appeared, Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery posted this message on Facebook: “We would like to apologize to those that we have offended with our billboards, as this was not our intention. ... We recognize the community of Jackson's concern, which is why we have made the decision to remove the billboards.”
New comments suggest many people aren’t laughing once again. “I find the muffin ad just as tasteless and horrible as the coffee cup ad — it's not funny. Kids that tease other kids for having 'muffin tops' are called bullies. I don't think we need giant billboards that do the same thing.” The most commonly used words to describe the new billboard seem to be “tasteless,” “tacky,” and “terrible.”
However, the new ad has its defenders. For instance, one Facebook comment reads: “I am sorry ... but if someone is "mentally damaged" by seeing this billboard then they have bigger issues that need to be addressed professionally. I am overweight and while I choose not to deal with it through plastic surgery I am not offended by people that do and my self worth and self confidence is not affected by a funny billboard with a picture of two muffins on it. ... I guess the saying is true: 'If you can be offended you will be.'” Another woman writes: “I think that your signs are extremely clever. ... People need to lighten up a bit.”
Nelis told Michigan Live the ad was not meant to be offensive, and the office is working to refresh and rejuvenate the vandalized billboard. While some might suggest trying a new and different ad, others would not argue with success. After all, the small plastic surgery practice has received a great deal of attention (otherwise known as free advertising) due to this kerfuffle.