Signs serve as a type of silent salesperson for your business, it is also an integral part of communication, particularly where you want to draw attention to promote and convey information about your business. They are a great way of making sure we’re getting our point across and underpin what we’re trying to say to our beloved customers.
However, not all people can understand the meaning of your sign, which can lead to misunderstandings, insults, and even violence.
Now, in Barberton, Ohio, there was a man named Jeremy Clemetson who had been working at the East of Chicago Pizza chain for almost two decades. After years of hard work, he finally opened his own branch of the chain and has been running it for fourteen years. He loves what he does and wants to attract more customers to his pizza shop, so he started advertising outdoors. However, the tone of his advertisements caused a lot of controversies. While Jeremy found them funny, the people in the community found them rude and offensive. Some people, however, didn’t think they were that bad.
His advertisements included slogans like “Now Hiring, Must Show Up,” “If it’s not there in thirty minutes, move closer,” and “Free Box with Every Pizza.” There was also one directed at a woman named Tammy, who took extended medical leave, and another that said “Our Deep Dish Pizza is as big as a pothole.” Jeremy admits that he hardly comes up with the ideas himself, he just takes them from other creative people on the internet.
“I scour the internet for different signs that people had. Sometimes I use them, and sometimes I reinvent my own,” Clemetson said.
He’s gotten a lot of positive feedback from customers about his slogans, and they’re often the main reason people try his pizza shop. However, there was one slogan he really wanted to use: “Fat people are harder to kidnap.” He thought it was hilarious, but it was already being used by a large motel chain. Eventually, he decided to steal it anyway and put it on a billboard with a picture of pepperoni pizza.
After posting the sign on Facebook and receiving no negative comments, he decided to take it on the road. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before people started filing complaints with the pizza chain’s corporate headquarters. One person even called it “rude” and pointed out that it was posted during National Human Trafficking Month, making it even more tasteless.
Jeremy has since apologized for overlooking the seriousness of the kidnapping reference and the poor taste of his billboard. Although he still believes in using humor to attract customers, he knows that he needs to be more careful about the messages he sends out. Despite the controversy, he still loves what he does and hopes to continue running his pizza shop for many more years to come.
Watch the video below for more details: