Orlando Mommies say Universal Orlando Halloween billboards go too far

Posted Thursday, September 4, 2008 3:13 PM | Contributed by Jeff

For this year's Halloween Horror Nights festivities, Universal Orlando promised an "in-your-face" advertising campaign, with billboards the company vowed would seek new levels of provocativeness. No thanks, some drivers are saying. One group, called Metro Orlando Mommies, says Universal has gone too far. The Mommies are pushing to get the company to tone down the ads, particularly the violent, sometimes bloody images.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Thursday, September 4, 2008 3:17 PM

Well, their ad campaign is working.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008 3:18 PM

Bottom line: People are talking, he said.Advertisers like that.

Heh.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008 3:50 PM

Somehow "Orlando Mommies" doesn't really garner the kind of respect I think this organization is looking for.

I do agree though that this advertising could be abusive if what they say is true (HHN ads during Opera or such), but somehow I have a feeling this is one sided.

I do agree halloween celebrations, especially Universal's, tend to be very heavy on the whole torture stuff. I personally find it amazingly stupid and a big turn off that people want to see others in torture. Aka Saw 1-4. But again, that's just me...

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Thursday, September 4, 2008 3:57 PM

I am not so sure it is so much wanting to see torture as it is the scare factor causing an adrenaline rush and the feeling of having survived something that the mind perceived one might not have. Perceived being the keyword. Not to much different than a rollercoaster in my opinion. Some people think they cause brain damage. While some think this kind of debauchery during Halloween causes people to kill or torture people. Neither one really is farther from the truth IMO.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008 4:00 PM

Brian Noble said:

Bottom line: People are talking, he said.Advertisers like that.

Heh.

I have heard a saying somewhere ... there is no such thing as bad press.

Even things that are supposed to be negative can actually turn out as a positive. In this situation people may go to the parks to see what the fuss is all about.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008 5:38 PM

Ahhh... Can't wait for this year's HHN! :)

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Thursday, September 4, 2008 10:36 PM

This is always a touchy area. How appropriate the ads are is completely subjective, so who decides where the lines are drawn?

I do think, though, that given the event carries a warning for suitability for young children, Universal should be sensitive to the young eyes that will be viewing the billboards, too. That's just my opinion.

But heck, I've already checked out the event's web site due to this article, so yeah, the negative publicity works I guess.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008 10:57 PM

Get over it mommies. There are worse things for your children. Like bad and irresponsible parenting, smothering your kids, and being vindictive to them.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008 11:18 PM

Creating a spectrum of negativity doesn't quite justify any of the spokes along the range. Murder is worse than abuse, but that doesn't make abuse tolerable.

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Friday, September 5, 2008 12:32 AM

I think it's a little bit creepy and not necessary or effective in getting people to visit the park.

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Friday, September 5, 2008 12:48 AM

Any pictures of the actual billboards in question?

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Friday, September 5, 2008 8:18 AM

From what I saw of the billboard on the news. It's not that scary since it comes from a few movies called Bloody Mary. I agree there is worst things out there and it's on cable tv. Besides there is age limit as to who can get into HHN. I was at a movie last week where a few mothers brought in thier infants to see R rated movie. Maybe it's time to stop being so damn PC and understand that people will get offended by something or other in thier lives. It's time to grow up and realize that fact.

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Friday, September 5, 2008 10:01 AM

Lord Gonchar said:
Any pictures of the actual billboards in question?

There is a picture on the article.

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Friday, September 5, 2008 12:31 PM

dragonoffrost said:
There is a picture on the article.

Yeah, I saw that. But surely the partial shot in the article isn't what people are complaining about?

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Friday, September 5, 2008 1:01 PM

Majorcut said:
Maybe it's time to stop being so damn PC and understand that people will get offended by something or other in thier lives. It's time to grow up and realize that fact.

Are you suggesting that there is no line that shouldn't be crossed?

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Friday, September 5, 2008 1:05 PM

ApolloAndy said:
Are you suggesting that there is no line that shouldn't be crossed?

Can't speak for someone else, but I think he's questioning who gets to draw that line.

I have to agree that the whole PC thing got way too integrated into our lives and it seems the people drawing the line are the ones who keep it the closest. They also seem to be the vocal minority.

I personally don't question whether a line should be drawn but where it should be drawn and who get to draw it.

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Friday, September 5, 2008 1:14 PM

^I have to disagree there. One look at what's on primetime national TV these days and what's marketed towards children (I know, I know, parental responsibillity) and I see things that I never would have seen 10 years ago.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Friday, September 5, 2008 1:15 PM
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Friday, September 5, 2008 1:34 PM

Yeah, but if it were up to me, the line would be drawn even further.

Sure, there's things on TV that wouldn't have been 10 years ago and 10 years ago people were saying the same thing...and a decade before that...and before that.

If it were up to me the line would be even further out there. The stuff that will finally be acceptable in another 10 would be on now.

Like so many thing's it's all about perspective. I don't see things like the change in TV in the last decade as pushing forward over the years, I think we should've been there a long time ago - we're hopelessly behind and backwards in our thinking.

More on topic, if the little piece of billboard shown in the article is what's causing a stir - I don't even know where to begin. My kids have had scarier and more graphic halloween costumes.

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Friday, September 5, 2008 2:21 PM

Yeah, I guess this is where I think these discussions get a little hairy. Because, in my opinion, the issue isn't really whether we think the ads are suitable to kids.

The issue is whether, given the ads are billboards that can't be turned off, restricted, deleted, or avoided, should the park use better discretion about the images they use for an event they already claim to be unsuitable for children.

It just plain doesn't make sense to put an age warning on the event and then post giant images of the event on billboards.

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