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Is Figlio’s Sex Worker Billboard Offensive?

As regular Deets readers know, I have a thing for offensive billboard advertisements. Here’s the latest case in Minneapolis.

Apparently, there is a new billboard for Filgio’s in downtown that’s bugging some folks. I haven’t had a chance to check it out myself, so if someone happens to have (or could snap) a photo link to it in the comments or email it in.

Jenny from the GWSS 3390: Feminist Media Making blog offers a description and opinion of the billboard:

GWSS 3390: Feminist Media Making: Watching Myself Watch and Read

I am plagued by the “Working the corner” billboard near my apartment. The billboard is of transvesite man (dressing as a woman) with lettering that says “Working the Corner since (1980something)”, it’s for Figlio restaurant, attempting to make a pun out of their location at Lake Street and Hennepin Ave in Uptown. Instead of a clever pun, they end up with a truly offensive billboard that I see almost every day on my way home. To me, it suggests that transvestites are always sex workers, and that the sex trade is funny.

DBR at the Who can Say? blog says he has also noticed the Figlio billboard and has his own take:

Working the corner

The billboard tells us that Figlio is a hip place, I guess, for only hip people. If you don’t like the billboard, then you aren’t part of their exclusive clientèle. I don’t see how aging hookers are supposed to get you in the mood for mediocre pasta in a noisy restaurant, but I guess I’m missing the point.

Let’s see it.

9 thoughts on “Is Figlio’s Sex Worker Billboard Offensive?”

  1. Oh man.

    I didn’t see a tranny when I saw the billboard. Since they were implying she’s been working the corner since 1980-something(1984, I think?), I assumed they were going for the “rode hard, put away wet” look of a hooker on the job more than 20 years. But that’s just me.

    It was also kind of funny, even if not terribly clever. However, despite being one of the un-offended, I am not a Figlio customer. I do not care for that place.

  2. I’ve seen it. Pretty clever- definetley gets your attention. I don’t think its downtown though. If I remember correctly, its right when you’re coming up Hennepin S into uptown. I didn’t look close enought to descern the gender status of the hooker but he/she is an ugly mo fo whatever it is. I couldn’t care one way or another about the billboard; I have never eaten there but that billboard did remind me I’d like to hit it up sometime soon.

  3. What a wanker…complaining about that billboard….its kind of trite but really not very offensive. It is sad that figlios has devolved into the same weak marketing tactics that chino-latino uses but I digress.

  4. Where I saw it is on the south side of 7th Street, where Hiawatha merges into it heading downtown.

    I guess I wouldn’t advocate taking to arms in response to this, but it’s mildly distasteful. Distasteful in the literal sense. Seriously, how are old hookers supposed to make you hungry?

    Remember, Chino Latino as advertised with references to Bangkok brothels and poop. Basically, it’s a place “for people who aren’t too uptight.” Figlio is using the same strategy.

    What offends me the most about this stuff is that I find myself agreeing with James Lileks. I don’t want to agree with Lileks.

  5. I, for one, am outraged that you are attacking this poor, defenseless billboard. There’s nothing wrong with billboards! Everyone knows that! Haters like you need to get a job. Or a hobby. Or spend some time with your wife, if you get my drift?

  6. there’s one on lake st right by figlio and on hennepin and 24th(?). Not super offensive to me, and I also didnt read ‘transvestite’ — but just the latest in a series of really hideous and unappealing figlio’s ads. They seriously need to dump their PR/ad people.

  7. It is sad that figlios has devolved into the same weak marketing tactics that chino-latino uses but I digress.

    Well the are the same company. Parasole splits the billboard space between its Uptown restaurants.

    Anyway, yawn. Figlio has been running billboards for a long time that emphasize their presence since the 80s, that they’re an Uptown staple. That’s the only message I get from the ad. Some people just love to complain, though.

  8. and to follow along with puptown…dump their PR/ad people and spend some time with their wives…if I get her drift.

    Either way, the billboard did not work.

  9. oops, editor!!
    I meant to say–
    and to follow along with puptown AND LISA…dump their PR/ad people and spend some time with their wives…if I get her drift.

    Either way, the billboard did not work.

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