Divorce attorney defends racy billboard

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A large billboard in Chicago is getting all the attention it was hoping to attract, but some say it's in bad taste.The ad shows the well-toned torsos of a man and a woman with the caption: 'Life is short. Get a divorce.'

A divorce attorney paid for the ad.

The sign on Rush Street is three times the size of a regular billboard, and features a scantily clad woman and man. It's causing a great deal of attention on the busy restaurant street.

"I think what she's promoting is, 'If you want to have a babe or a hunk like this, come to us, we can make this happen for you," said Geraldine Kimborugh.

"I think it's ludicrous," said Peter Citera. "I think it's saying that marriage is no longer a commitment in this country."

The billboard provides the phone number of attorney Corri Fetman, who says she wanted a creative and sexy way to advertise her services. Fetman says it appeals to people who are already thinking of getting a divorce.

"If you are in an unhealthy relationship and you don't want to be in it anymore, you need to be honest with yourself. And, we provide a solution to that problem," Fetman says.

Fetman says she's promoting love, happiness and integrity with the billboard. Others say, that's not what she's selling.

"To suggest you ought to change your life like you change a suit, that is not acceptable," said Joe Ducanto of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys. "This reflects badly on women in general, and on lawyers. It is just in bad taste."

On the surface, it's saying, 'Hey, let's all break the Seventh Commandment. And, if you do break the Seventh Commandment and get caught, then come see me'," said Jim Schmidt, advertising creative director for Downtown Partners. "I don't think it's promoting anything wholesome at all."

"I think it's obscene," Lewis Parenti. "I think it's not professional for the law firm."

"I think it's disgusting," said Donna Kleinman . "I think it's going to backfire on her because women are going to be so disgusted that she's not going to get the business she wants.

But Fetman says, "We're not promoting rash decision-making. It's a light-hearted way to deal with a serious subject."

ABC7 Chicago we talked to many attorneys Monday who considered the ad tasteless, unprofessional and degrading.

Fetman says her billboard is already paying off because of all the publicity she is receiving. She says she's planning to put up an ad that's even more racy next month.

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