A Wisconsin man got frustrated with sex shop billboards heavily concentrated near his home and chose to act, with attention-getting results.
Jim Guell, 73, and a retired insurance broker, lives in a mobile home park north of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, directly across Highway 41 from where a series of billboards have been advertising competing local adult stores.
Six billboards, three each, for the sex shops Lion’s Den and Xcite are in close proximity in a string of eight billboards on the highway.
“I got tired of seeing those advertisements, those boards, every time I came home,” Guell, a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal association, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I look out the window of my home and they're lit at night and I thought, I've got to combat this some way.”
“It got to be too much,” he said in a report from the Blaze. “I figured, well a person needs to take a stand and raise these issues, and let people know what those businesses really are.”
Guell got in touch with the Knights along with decency advocacy group Morality in Media (MIM) to produce an alternative message. MIM provided the design and the Knights came up with the funding, allowing Guell to rent a billboard for six months. The cost is about $6,000 and the immediate result is an apparent battle of moral messages.
Because of Guell the smut ads have since been joined by a billboard saying “Porn Destroys Love” and “What would Jesus say about pornography?”
But the message of God’s presence is finding its way into the mix aside from Guell’s effort.
One of the eight billboards in the stretch of highway had space donated to an area Christian group, resulting in the billboard bearing the message, “Got God?” The eighth has been leased to a bank.
So the line of messages on the eight 48-by-14-foot signs, approximately 500 feet from each other within two-thirds of a mile, goes like this: Horicon bank, Lion’s Den Adult Superstore, “Got God?”, “What would Jesus say about pornography?/Porn Destroys Love,” Lion’s Den Adult Superstore, Xcite, Xcite, Xcite, Lion’s Den Adult Superstore.
People have noticed the billboard produced by MIM and the Knights and remarked on it to Guell.
He had special reason for wanting to reach people with the decency message, as he’d wrestled with porn as a younger man.
“So I know what kind of damage can be done and how much of an addiction it can turn out to be,” Guell said.