T.I.’s camp is getting a bit of negative attention this week over a billboard located in Newark, NJ. According to FSL, the AKOO billboard is smack dab in the middle of one of Newark’s busiest intersections and it’s residents feel the advertisement is sending a risque and inappropriate message to it’s younger citizens.
The billboard (pictured above) features a woman kneeling in front of a man with his pants unzipped and the area’s residents say that the ad is especially vulgar because it seems to be targeting African-American youth:
What’s the message here? ‘If I wear these clothes more women will want to have sex with me,’ ” said James Sawhill, a Rutgers-Newark marketing professor. “I’m so sick of people seeing Newark as a place where they can do whatever they want,” he said. “They think they can put it in a black community and nobody is going to say or do anything.”
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Meanwhile, AKOO representatives claim that the ad is no sexier than any other:
It was a sexy, racy fashion ad, as they so often are,” said Jodi Senese, executive vice president of marketing. There are more-explicit ads CBS will not post, she said, but this one didn’t rise to that level. AKOO, whose clothing is distributed by Rp55 in Virginia Beach, Va., has not responded to requests for comment.
I personally don’t see the big deal. Calvin Klein has dayum near been pedaling pedophilia with all those young boys in his ads and although the AKOO ads are a bit racy, it’s no different than sexy commercials on television. If we’re going to condemn one, we should condemn them all.