6 racy billboards that sparked major publicity

Sometimes the best PR campaign is a controversial billboard. (Some of these are NSFW—depending on your office.)

Just ask Calvin Klein, a designer who has staked his marketing on the allure of a racy ad. Just this week, the fashion house erected a billboard, in which some passersby saw the F-word. (You decide.)

Thanks to the billboard, Calvin won press in print, online, and on local TV.

In Chicago, an anti-abortion-rights group pulled off a similar coup.

This week, Life Always put up a billboard depicting President Obama alongside the message: “Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted.”

That outdoor ad landed Life Always’ message on TV and in The Huffington Post.

A little (or a lot of) controversy goes a long way in the PR world: Put up something racy, and the hounds in the media pounce and run with it. A reporter interviews someone who’s offended, a talking head rips the organization for posting the ad, and a second talking head defends it.

You bought a billboard and won loads of press. Who needs a PR agency?

Though the Calvin Klein and Life Always ads were over the top, they compare favorably to these notoriously racy billboards.

Be warned: Some of these are NSFW (Not Safe for Work).

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