Racy lingerie billboard angers Plain City woman

Sep 12 2011 - 11:04pm

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Standard-Examiner photo
Standard-Examiner photo

WEST HAVEN -- A Plain City woman says a lingerie billboard between the 12th and 21st street exits on Interstate 15 is inappropriate for public viewing and should be changed.

The billboard, which features a woman lying in a seductive pose and wearing a skimpy outfit, advertises for Dr. John's Lingerie, a sexually oriented business with stores across the country, including one in Roy.

Plain City resident Martha Bodily thinks the sign is inappropriate and is trying to rally support to get the billboard removed.

Because the billboard is within West Haven city limits, Bodily attended a recent West Haven City Council meeting to express her concerns.

"We have a fantastic community," she said. "It's very family-oriented. I don't think this sign is appropriate for our community, and I think most of our residents would feel the same way."

Bodily said although she doesn't think the billboard constitutes pornography, she believes this quote from the Utah attorney general's website is applicable: "A judge or jury decides what material is pornographic. The judge or jury is required to use the 'community standards' as a guideline in deciding what an average person in that community would believe is pornographic material."

West Haven City Councilwoman Stephanie Carlson agreed that the billboard was inappropriate and said it should be changed or removed.

"When we went to Las Vegas, we saw billboards with literally naked people except for shoes on, and I sat there and thought, 'I do not want that to come back (to our community),'" she said.

This particular billboard has a recent history of displaying controversial content, Bodily said. It has displayed an advertisement for female breast enhancement that showed a large chest in an "itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini," as well as a Costa Vida ad displaying a woman in a low-necked swimsuit.

Simmons Media, the owners of the billboard location, did not return calls seeking comment.

The Costa Vida advertisement also was used in Utah and Salt Lake counties, but after receiving a large number of complaints, Costa Vida adjusted those billboards to be less revealing.

Brian Dixon, a Costa Vida manager, said no complaints were received from the Ogden area regarding the billboard. If there had been, he said, the company would have changed the artwork there, too.

"The Costa Vida ad didn't seem bad to me, but I have a lot of regret that I didn't complain about the itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny yellow bikini," Bodily said. "I feel like this spot is becoming the spot for something that's risque."

Bodily believes community members can bring about changes.

She has started a blog at http://divinen9.wordpress.com, with contact information for the property owners, the billboard owners, Dr. John's, and West Haven city officials.

She hopes that if enough residents contact these people, something will change.

"Some people have told me, 'This is just the way things are nowadays, teach your kids to look the other way,'" Bodily said, "but I ... and most of the women I've talked to feel like it's demeaning."

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