Waco, Tex. (CBS HOUSTON) — A Waco sign company decided not to produce any more tailgate decals that depict an abducted woman who is tied up in the bed of a pickup truck.
Following a widespread backlash from abuse groups and many in the Texas community, the owner of Hornet Signs removed the one-off “realistic” vehicle wrap that gives the illusion that one is looking at the back of a pickup truck that is open and contains a bound, blond woman.
“I wasn’t expecting the reactions we got,” company owner Brad Kolb told KWTX-TV. “It was more or less something we put out there to see who noticed it.”
Kolb stated that the company’s tailgate designs sales jumped following the controversy.
However, Kolb responded that the company and its employees – which includes the woman who posed for the image in the vinyl wrap — “do not condone abusive behavior in any form to any individual,” and called on people to “let us know what motivates you to act … We wanted to see how realistic we could make the wraps.”
Responding to the backlash, many took to the KWTX website and Facebook page to voice their opinions of what Kolb called an “experiment in marketing.”
“Abduction or any violence against women is not funny or cute!” read one post. However, another blogger wrote, “This American business owner has a decal that made the news. Like it or not, it works.”
The liberal political advocacy group MoveOn.org posted a petition calling on Hornet to eliminate the decal, saying: “Using imagery of a hog-tied woman on the back of a pick-up truck is unacceptable in today’s climate of violence against women.”
Kolb stated that the company has also donated $2,500 to the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children in Waco. He also commented on the controversy – in a video entitled “How Far Is Too Far?” –that the company has “embraced the situation as an opportunity to help victims of abuse all over the country.”
Kolb told KWTX-TV that he has since burned the decal.