Ad for Montana ski area triggers social media firestorm

Posted at 12:30 PM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 18:05:44-04
Spiker Communications
Spiker Communications

MISSOULA – An advertising campaign for Montana Snowbowl set off a social media flurry of criticism, calling it “fat shaming” and “sexist.”

The ad that showed up at Missoula College and some breweries stated: “Dear extra body fat, you have two options: make your way into my boobs or get the f- out”.

Snowbowl owner Andy Morris said it was a breakdown in communication between Snowbowl and their ad agency.

Morris said that was one of the rejected slogans for a series of ads for the ski hill. He called it “crass’ and immediately asked Spiker Communications to pull it.

He addressed the issue on Snowbowl’s Facebook page saying, in part: “We had our ad agency remove them immediately. We did not nor would not approve an ad of that nature. Please feel free to address questions or concerns to us as we work through this unfortunate misunderstanding and misrepresentation of our ski area.”

Wes Spiker of the ad agency said they also apologize if the ad offended anyone and said it was a mistake on his part. He explained that the agency was trying to reach a younger crowd.

Spiker posted the following message on the Snowbowl Facebook page:

Wes Spiker here, author of the line on this guerrilla wild posting that has people riled up. First, we apologize to anyone who took offense. It was not my intent to offend anyone, we showed the line around to a handful of ad people and it was well received and thought to be very funny. This is not the ad campaign for Winter that breaks in tomorrow’s Missoulian. This was an attempt to reach younger people in town at six locations, local breweries mostly, and one at Missoula College. And it was in hindsight a bad idea. But our job is to push the envelope and get people to notice our work and our clients. Snowbowl DID NOT approve of this message, it was a test on our part to see how it would fly with the younger audience. Snowbowl offers the best skiing in the region and it’s only going to get better when they open the new terrain later this season, and again I am sorry to have offended so many people.

The posters were in six locations in town and have since been taken down.

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