FALL RIVER (CBS) — An eye-catching billboard is being slammed by a state lawmaker as offensive to women.
The Gulf Electricity billboard on I-195 in Fall River and along the Mass. Pike in Boston shows a high-heeled bare leg underneath a light switch, next to the words “Are we turning you on yet?”
State Rep. Carole Fiola, D-Fall River, pulled over to take a picture and took to social media to say she was “all riled up” by the message.
“This billboard in Fall River sets women back 50 years,” she wrote. “Gulf Electricity please take it down.”
Fiola said she’s left a message for Gulf Electricity, and urged others to call the company and voice their anger.
“When I looked at it I said this is really stupid,” Rep. Fiola told WBZ-TV. “Very tasteless and very stupid.”
Many expressed anger on Fiola’s Facebook post about the billboard.
“I first thought it was an ad for an ‘adult store,’ one woman wrote. “They should be ashamed! Terrible ad campaign.”
“Outrageous! But so common, Women are used and abused by the advertisement industry,” another person wrote.
“It certainly didn’t appeal to me,” Rep. Fiola said. “So obviously they were trying to be a little offensive a little sexist there, and I don’t think that does anybody any good.”
But others said they didn’t see why the billboard was a big deal.
“It’s funny, women just love this 50 Shades of Grey, yet they find this billboard off color?” a man wrote. “Get a grip ladies.”
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol County, which assists child victims of abuse and their families, also weighed in, asking Twitter followers if they thought the ad was “objectifying women.”
“How do we respond to a child when he/she asks why a bare leg and the message intention that the graphic wishes to convey?”
Gulf Electricity has not responded to WBZ-TV’s request for a comment.