A Waco, Texas, company that makes graphics for vehicles created a decal of a bound-and-gagged woman in the bed of a pickup truck that looked so real and caused so much offense that even ABC news reported on it
Then things got really bad.
The company, Hornet Signs, initially responded to complaints on its Facebook page
(an example: on a post about a decal depicting the foam fingers people hold up at sporting events, a commenter replied, “I’ve got an iconic finger for you!”) by stating that the decal of the woman in the truck wasn’t for sale and that it was, instead, a “marketing experiment.”
“Let’s embrace the situation and take this opportunity to help victims of abuse all over this great country,” the company wrote in a Facebook message
. Later on, it asked people to “share what others are doing to bring awareness and solutions to this disturbing social issue.”
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All the while, the company posted head-scratcher polls
asking, “Which will receive more publicity, controversy or compassion?” and whether the company should sell the decal on eBay.
One commenter responded to those posts with, “Controversy doesn't sell. I will never buy anything from your company. You may have my attention, but not my dollars.”
One last Monday post
stated, “We would like to respectfully remind the public that, threats and personal attacks on our employees are also a form of abuse that many of our critics have voiced such outrage and concern over.”
The company’s owner, Brad Kolb, publicly burned the decal
and the company offered to donate $2,500 to Waco’s Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children.
Some Facebook commenters said they viewed the donation as a step in the right direction, but a Tuesday post
from Kolb went on the offensive.
“ALL NEGATIVE COMMENTS under this post will be deleted and the user will be banned from our site,” the post states. “We are not saying that you can't post your feelings somewhere on our page. We are just saying that you can't do it here.”
Indeed, all the comments on the post, about 170 or so, are positive. But many of the “recommendations” in the sidebar on the company’s page include comments critical not only of the decal, but of the decision to delete negative feedback.
“What an appalling manipulation,” said one.
(Image via KWTX