Blue Lives Matter billboards spread, spark debate

Blue Lives Matter Billboard

Camillus, N.Y. — Lamar Advertising, a major national billboard company, is courting some controversy with an ad campaign aimed at supporting police.

The company, headquartered in Louisiana, has placed more than 300 billboards across the country emblazoned with the slogans like Blue Lives Matter.

There’s one by Township 5 in Camillus.

Lamar worked on the campaign with a Memphis ad agency, Tactical Magic.

A Lamar executive told USA Today the company wanted to recognize and thank local police departments.

The “lives matter” phrase entered the popular lexicon after activists protesting racial profiling and officer-involved shootings began using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media. Other groups have since adopted similar phrasing for their own purposes.

Some view Lamar’s efforts as co-opting activists’ messaging, according to USA Today. One activist said the campaign was “shameful.”

It’s not the first time Lamar has been involved a controversial ad campaign.

In 2011, the company put up a billboard sponsored by an anti-abortion group that showed a young black girl and the words “the most dangerous place for an African-American is the womb,” according to USA Today.

The company took the billboard down after a few days.

So what do you think? Is Lamar’s campaign a good way to honor police? Or should the company have found some other phrasing?

Contact Kevin Tampone anytime: Email | Twitter | Google + | 315-454-2112

http://www.syracuse.com/business-news/index.ssf/2015/10/lamar_blue_lives.html