Brad Kolb, the owner of the advertising and marketing company, removed the decal and burned it Monday. (Photo by Matt Howerton)
WACO (September 9, 2013)—Hornet Signs of Waco, which created a realistic life-size tailgate decal of a bound woman lying in the bed of a pickup, burned the creation Monday in response to a worldwide backlash that included threats after the story went viral.
Brad Kolb, the owner of the advertising and marketing company, removed the decal from the pickup truck on which it was displayed and burned it Monday afternoon.
The company also announced Monday it has donated $2,500 to the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children in Waco.
The decal, which was created from a photograph of a female employee who volunteered to pose, was put on the tailgate of an employee’s pickup truck to gauge local response, which was not positive.
"I wasn't expecting the reactions we got, nor do we condone this by any means,” Kolb said last week.
But over the weekend the story went viral and the company’s Facebook page has been plastered with critical comments from around the country, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Kolb said many people called the store over the weekend and some made threats.
"While the negative publicity we have received is not unwarranted, 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 said in a posting on its Facebook page Monday.
"As we said, we don't condone what we put on the tailgate by any means," Kolb said, “but we want to keep attention on this in a positive way now, and see how much good we can do for the Advocacy center here in town."
Kolb said the company will make additional donations to the advocacy center for every “like” the Facebook page receives and he encouraged other area businesses to donate to the center as well.
Amy Perkins, the center’s executive director, said the donation will help fund prevention education programs that serve six counties and dozens of school districts.
"Whenever I first saw the tailgate I was appalled," Perkins said.
"But the good thing about the publicity is that it's brought awareness to something that happens in our community."
The center serves as an umbrella over several programs including the Children’s Advocacy Center and the Victims Center.