Purina’s Tidy Cats campaign in Cincinnati has recently come under fire after the company put up a billboard comparing the city to a used litter box. Residents were not amused. Apparently the billboard set off a firestorm of protest from proud Cincinnati-ans. The billboard was part of a cheeky ad campaign called ‘No More PU’ which highlights things that stink and need cleaning up. The billboard’s Twitter hashtag read “#lifestinks” under the tag-line, “You’re so over the Over-the-Rhine”.
The Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, just north of downtown Cincinnati, experienced race riots about 10 years ago but has since experienced significant revitalization. The neighborhood has seen a 29% decrease in crime since 2001.
Many of the residents took to Facebook and Twitter to share their protest of the sign.
One resident posted on Facebook, “How is making fun of OTR considered funny? By whom? The billboard was cruel and in poor taste. The billboard is no different than a bully on the school playground picking on a less fortunute [sic] kid.”
And a Twitter response read, “Wow@TidyCats your bashing of #otr isn’t “funny.” it just stink #lifestinks”.
Today, Purina issued an apology.
The Tidy Cats Facebook page reads: “We’re sorry – our attempt at humor on our billboard mentioning OTR wasn’t funny to many of you. We’ll be taking fast action to correct our mistake. Please accept our sincere apologies. – Tidy Cats Team”