California Sunglasses Company Forced To Remove ‘Offensive’ Billboard

Sep 7, 2012
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A California sunglasses company has been forced to take down their billboard above Highway 101 that read ‘Happy to sit on your face’ for its intentional innuendo.

The signage was meant to be a tongue in cheek promotion of SPY Optic’s new line of ‘Happy’ lenses, which purportedly lift one’s spirits with their special design.

‘We are a happy brand,’ a company spokesman, Ian Riggs, said to MailOnline. ‘It’s what makes us happy-being on people’s faces.’

Hot Topic: Controversy over a cheeky billboard has forced a California sunglasses company to remove their billboard above Highway 101 that read ‘Happy to sit on your face.’

Thousands of San Diego drivers sped past the sign yesterday, the only day it was displayed, and it appears their complaints swayed the owner of the advertising space to quickly rip it out of sight – but not out of mind.

‘Upon receiving feedback from a few local citizens about SPY’s new Hwy 101 billboard—that has been widely enjoyed and celebrated by the community—the advertising space’s management company has decided to remove it permanently,’ a statement from SPY Optic read.

‘Despite the billboard’s positive reception, an underwhelming minority made enough noise that the management company decided this afternoon to remove it first thing Thursday morning.’

SPY Optics announced the advertisement on the company’s blog, explaining the idea behind the billboard.

‘We intended for it to be fun. … And we intentionally left out the sunglasses on this first ad to create the mystique, as that is a part of the buildup of the campaign,’ Mr Riggs said.

‘If you thought this billboard created some controversy, wait till you see the next…’

The new technology behind the Happy Lens blocks harmful UV rays and 99 per cent of glare, but also lets blue light in.

Studies suggest that blue light, specifically color wavelengths between 450 and 500 nanometers, increases serotonin, making the wearer happier.

The blue background of the billboard was meant to illustrate the innovative design of the sunglasses, which are slated for release in February of 2013.

‘You know, it seemed fun, seemed like a way to sort of embrace “let’s have a good time with this thing,”‘ said SPY Optic Marketing Director Devon Howard to 10News.

‘We didn’t expect the response we’ve gotten.’

He insisted that most people thought the billboard was funny and it wasn’t meant to offend anyone. He did concede, however, that it could have been tweaked to be in better taste, like adding sunglasses on the signage.

‘I thought that I read it wrong,’ said salon owner Sarita Mihaly, whose Moonlight Hair Design sits directly below the sign.

‘I thought that it was a joke.’

She thought the placard was a great conversation starter, and in a hair salon, that’s always a good thing.

‘Oh my God, that’s quite a sexual kind of comment to make in big bold letters like that,’ said her customer Kathleen Anderson.

The company that owns the billboard, however, was not interested in a conversation or a controversy and took down the sign this morning.

SPY Optics has already been hard at work crafting a second incarnation of the campaign that is only slightly less controversial: ‘Happiness is coming…’

Second Coming: SPY Optics has already been hard at work crafting a second incarnation of the campaign that is only slightly less controversial.

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