Save the whales- Controversy has been super sized


Save the whales! Go vegetarian!

Or in other words; Lose your excessive weight and stop eating meat! Advertisements are notorious for over stepping social boundaries and pushing the buttons of various social groups. However, juse because it is the minority that is the loudest does not mean that they’re the majority. This billboard was erected Jacksonville, California and caused a stir almost instantly. Controversial advertisements such as this billboard produced by PETA are created to cause a stir within the community and to get people talking about it.

This billboard advertisement is controversial because it manages to address various different controversial topics such as body image, societal standards and political correctness.

The denotation presented on this page can be interpreted in specific ways. At first your eyes are drawn to the large caption saying ‘Save the whales!’ With your eyes following to the drawing of a large lady after you read the caption. Immediately your thoughts are drawn to it being offensive and rude.  The connotation of this advertisement is that it is trying to increase the amount of people that are signed up to PETA and to become a vegetarian to improve their campaigning.

Not long after this billboard was released in 2009, it was replaced by another billboard by PETA: image

This billboard also gained a lot of attention from the media and from onlookers who after seeing these billboards, decided to become vegetarian. Many people feel that the billboard’s statement saying ‘lose the blubber’ with a photograph as a larger lady was cruel to the obese and tampered with advertisements need to target many audiences. On the other hand though, many people called in to take the 30 day ‘Pledge to be a veg’ challenge.

It just goes to show that people will take controversial images in many different story ways and it has to do with how they interpret the connotations and denotations of the image.





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