Who sucks more in this billboard standoff?

Someone who commented on my pregnant-Bears-fan post (boy, must that woman be pissed off) linked me to his weblog, home to a discussion about Clear Channel yanking a billboard promoting Mark Stevens’ yourmarketingsucks.com. The basic story is that a random Net Jets executive, concerned for his daughter’s well-being, called shenanigans on one of Mark’s billboards. More to the point, he warned Mark that “the full wrath of the Berkshire Hathaway empire” would drop on him like an Acme-brand piano if he didn’t take it down. Mark didn’t, but Clear Channel did, without so much as a “heads up, old bean.” Which sucked, since they’d previously approved the billboard. I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, I hate Clear Channel for their boring, sterile, “play it safe” attitude, which was on full display here. But conversely, I get a little sick of hearing guys like Stevens feigning surprise when their jarring shock tactics actually work. Whether it was a few or a lot of complaints is a matter of debate, but that’s still the risk of in-your-face marketing. You’re not a martyr if it backfires.

—Posted by David Kiefaber