hornet signs: rope-bound woman

As a marketing strategy, Hornet Signs, an automobile sign and decal company in Waco, Texas, placed an image on the tailgate of a truck that gave the appearance that there was a rope-bound (hands and feet) blond woman wearing a pink shirt and jeans lying tied up in the bed of the truck. The truck was driven around town to advertise and attract business for the company.


What does this image of a bound woman in the back of a truck convey?  What does it convey about violence? About women? Who is assumed to be driving the truck? Who is the decal being sold to?

The makers of this truck sticker say that this image was a marketing stunt that worked – more people became aware of their company and bought from them. After public outcry, they also said they do not condone violence, sexual violence, torture, kidnapping, women being treated as property, or other similar things that critics associate with this image. Do you accept the company’s defense of their marketing strategy? Why or why not?

What are the potential effects of seeing an image of a bound woman while driving behind or next to the truck?

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