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UPDATE: T.I.'s Akoo Billboard To Be Taken Down

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According to Associated Press, following the complaints from residents in Newark, New Jersey, including Mayor Cory Booker, the suggestive Akoo Jeans billboard will be taken down. A spokeswoman from CBS Outdoor, the company that owns the billboard, told Associated Press that the ad is going to be removed, although she did not say what exact date it would be taken down. Is this really a loss for T.I.'s clothing company? While it won't stay up in downtown Newark, New Jersey, for very long, some would argue that this suggestive ad has more than served its purpose. It has increased public awareness of Akoo Jeans, which is half the battle. How many of you knew T.I. had an apparel company before learning about this racy billboard? Furthermore, the ad will live on in numerous blog posts. And we all know that things that go up online, never really come down. That said, the swift response from CBS Outdoor is most likely due to the large amount of attention this billboard received on the Web--from major news organizations to small blogs run in the living rooms of laid off journalists. The majority consensus from Internet users was outrage for the placement of the advertisement in the middle of a busy intersection in the inner city.  __________________________________________________________ T.I.'s Akoo Jeans Billboard Sexualizes Black Women Rapper T.I.'s clothing label Akoo Jeans is under fire for a suggestive new billboard the company posted in downtown Newark, New Jersey, CNN Newsroom reported. The image is of a man in jeans, with only a small area of his lower region visible. A woman appears to be on her knees in front of him, the side of her face pressed against his pelvis, about to pull his unbuckled jeans and belt down, while the male model rests his hand on the back of her head. Apparently a lot of people in the Newark community find the ad offensive. Hmmm, we wonder why. Maybe it's because the ad implies that this woman is about to perform oral sex on the brother. Just a thought. The suggestion is quite strong. It's understandable if some people feel like it's T.M.I. for their morning trip to drop the kids off at school. The thing is, there are always going to be ads like this around. The phrase "Sex Sells" is an old one. It's the natural advertising crutch. If all other ideas fail, add some sexy. It is a shame, however, that women are so often portrayed in a submissive or subjugate manner in advertisements, from American Apparel to Akoo. It's certainly not the first time--remember Akademiks Clothing's "Get Brain" ad of 2008? And with hip hop culture on a whole, always being called out for degrading women in lyrics and imagery, it would be nice if the ads didn't push the idea of Black women scrubbing the ground with our knees all the time. Read More:
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