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Billboard ad scores a zero

Bronx Times
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This billboard ad for a Manhattan strip club in the heart of the borough’s Civic Center is scoring some sore criticism.

The provocative ad on a giant billboard on E. 161st Street at Walton Avenue, in front of the new Yankee Stadium and staring straight at the Bronx County Courthouse - and the Borough President’s office – shows two young lovelies with sexy smiles gazing seductively from it, offering their hostess charms for the Manhattan “gentleman’s club” Scores.

But the complaining neighbors may have just scored a victory, sending the lovely hostesses packing.

Jose Rodriguez, district manager of local Community Board 4, who originally complained to the billboard company, Manhattan-based OTR MEDIA GROUP, said on Tuesday, Aug. 13, that the company had reneged.

“I just received a call from OTR and they are working on getting the ad removed,” he stated in an email. “They could not say when but that they want to be good community partners and will comply.”

Rodriquez was feeling neither seduced or charmed by the billboard when it first went up.

He fired off a letter to the billboard advertising firm Aug. 12, telling them that he has received a number of complaints over the seductive billboard, which sits atop a Burger King there.

He also sent copies of the letter to board chair Kathleen Saunders and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“While we respect your right to contract and post advertisements, we feel this particular ad is simply not appropriate for the area and not the image that we have fought hard to change,” he told the billboard company.

“We pride ourselves as the Capital District of the Bronx. Our district is a great place to visit, work and live,” he wrote, then adding a list of local architectural, cultural and social attributes for the neighborhood that would make the local tourist board proud.

“We are the host community to the world renowned Yankee Stadium, The New Gateway Center at the old Bronx Terminal Market, the Bronx Museum of the Arts and many Art Deco buildings along the Grand Concourse Historic District,” he told them, adding that “We just recently developed and renovated recreational facilities, such as, tennis courts, a state of the art track & field and a new water front park. We are the administrative center of the County, housing the offices of the Borough President, The District Attorney, the Courts and the County Clerk.

Borough President Diaz, whose offices are cattycorner in the County Building, just posted a reelection campaign video with the billboard in the background, but thankfully (?) when the video was shot, it still featured a whiskey ad.

Cary Good, head of the 161st Street Business Improvement District had mixed feelings about the Scores come-on ad.

“On the one hand, we like all our businesses to be in tune and sympathetic to the needs of the community. On the other hand, not everybody who comes through this area lives in the neighborhood or sees the same slant on things,” he said.

“Probably what’s driving the idea of the billboard is capturing the eyeballs of Yankee fans,” he added. “Personally, I’ve never been to Scores. My scores are about the Yankees!”

Posted 12:00 am, August 16, 2013
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