By Carrie Emge, for RedEye
10:40 AM CDT, May 15, 2012
Lincoln Park's newest resident is one a lot of neighbors may have already met. The three-story tall, half-naked woman residing on the Vitamin Water XXX ad at Sheffield/Wrightwood/Lincoln intersection, just blocks away from DePaul's campus, is hard to miss. And some students are not rolling out the welcome mat.
Shortly after the advertisement went up, DePaul Junior Emily Edwards started an online petition asking Glaceau, the company that manufactures Vitamin Water, to remove it. The petition letter states, "The message seems to be more concerned with selling sexuality than encouraging a healthy lifestyle."
The petition hopes to encourage a different way of thinking when it comes to advertising. An e-mail was sent to Glaceau regarding this issue and although a response was received, it did not mention any possibility of removing the advertisement.
A recent article from the New York Post proves that Edwards is not alone. Rev. Freddy Wyatt, a pastor in Manhattan, was "angered and brokenhearted" by a four-story advertisement that he sent tweets to Vitamin Water until it was removed.
Edwards said she understands that sex sells, and most of the feedback about the petition from locals has been positive. Others have made comments to her that the advertisement is ridiculous and frustrating.
"Women have constantly been battling issues with body image and self-esteem," Edwards mentioned. This ad doesn't help. As of May 15, the petition is 12 signatures away from reaching it's goal of 100 signatures.
Besides the fact that "college campuses are rampant with sexual violence, a disease rooted in the objectification of people's bodies" (as stated in the letter), Jonquil Park is located right at the intersection of where this ad is located. Children are being conditioned that this is an acceptable form of advertising, and that worries some.
The petition hopes to serve as a wake up call to advertisers. It invites representatives from Glaceau to speak with members of the DePaul community about their advertising practices. They have not yet accepted this invitation.
--Carrie Emge is a student at DePaul University who signed the petition to remove the Vitamin Water XXX advertisement from Lincoln Park.
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