Montana Snowbowl ski area apologized on Friday for advertising posters created by an ad agency in Missoula.
Spiker Communications, which has been hired for Snowbowl for many years to create ads, hung flyers in six locations around town that read “Dear extra body fat, you have two options: Make your way into my boobs or get the F-out.”
The words Fat, Boobs and F-out were all in much larger, bold print. On Friday, people on Facebook began sharing images of the flyer. One person commented “Wtf? Do better Snowbowl.”
On Friday afternoon, managers at Snowbowl posted on the ski area’s Facebook page that they wanted to “apologize for an ad that was recently created on (Snowbowl’s) behalf.”
“When we received notice from Facebook users of its existence, we had our ad agency remove them immediately,” the post read. “We did not nor would not approve of an ad of that nature. We are in contact with the advertising agency and will work to have all ads using this crass content removed.”
The ad agency hired by Snowbowl was Spiker Communications, owned by Wes Spiker. Spiker said he wrote the headline and personally approved the design.
“I meant no ill will, and I apologize profusely,” he said. “I screwed up. It was all my responsibility, and I take all the hit on this.”
Spiker said it was not his intent to offend anyone.
“We showed the line to a handful of ad people and everyone liked it and thought it was funny,” he said.
Spiker said it was not the official ad campaign the company is rolling out for Snowbowl, but rather a targeted attempt to reach younger people at local breweries and at Missoula College.
“It was in hindsight a bad idea,” he wrote on Facebook under Snowbowl’s apology. “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.”
Spiker, 64, said he will more carefully consider humorous flyers intended for younger audiences in the future.
He also said all the flyers had been taken down as of Friday afternoon and shredded.
“I blew it this time,” he said. “I should have known better. It got a bigger reaction than we thought it would.”
Another Missoula business had to apologize for a Facebook post earlier this week.
On Monday, Howard’s Pizza of Missoula posted a note on its Facebook page saying “Howard’s will be closed on Monday, October 8th for Columbus day to do what the Columbus’s do … Go hunting!”
Critics on Facebook alleged that the post was insensitive and ignored the role Columbus and other European settlers played in committing genocide on Native Americans.
The next day, the company’s owners Matthew and Desi Meyers posted an apology.
“I’d like to formally apologize for the offensiveness it caused to so many,” the post read. “I was completely unaware of the dark history and controversy surrounding the holiday. It was an honest mistake, and I only meant hunting in the traditional sense. We are an active outdoors family taking advantage of this beautiful place we've been so lucky to live in. The support we've received has been overwhelmingly positive and I can't thank each and every one of you enough! We love this community and we are so lucky to serve you everyday! We love you Missoula!”