Should the Controversial Harley-Davidson Billboard Stay or Go?

Billboards are known for capturing attention and sometimes addressing controversial topics. However, a recent Harley-Davidson billboard has sparked national controversy due to its “offensive” language. The advertisement, created by the Bayside Harley Davidson dealer in Portsmouth, encouraged people to ride away on a Harley and embrace a more courageous life with the tagline, “Leave all the bulls**t in the wind behind you.”

While the dealership’s general manager, Shawn Robinson, believed that people shouldn’t be too sensitive about the curse word used in the ad, the billboard soon raised eyebrows in the local community. Situated along I-264 East, the sign prompted complaints and scathing remarks on social media. Many individuals expressed concern about the negative influence the ad might have on their children.

However, it’s important to note that both the billboard company and Harley Davidson approved the content and did not perceive the word as offensive. Portsmouth City Councilman Bill Moody confirmed that the billboard had the right to display whatever it wanted since it was on Bayside’s property. Robinson clarified that the dealership did not intend to offend anyone and hoped that the ad would generate positive buzz, which is typically the goal of advertising campaigns.

Opinions on the sign are divided. Some argue that since it targeted bikers, it was not inappropriate. Others, especially parents of young children, have valid concerns given that the billboard was posted along a public highway.

In the end, it’s crucial to prioritize real issues facing the Portsmouth community rather than getting caught up in the foul language used on the sign. Robinson emphasized the economic challenges the city currently faces and suggested focusing on approving the downtown casino rather than debating the usage of a particular word on a street sign.

What are your thoughts on the sign? Should it remain or be taken down? It’s a discussion worth having.


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