Controversial Billboard gets Makeover

By Evan Sernoffsky

Someone defaced The Foundation for Biomedical Research‘s billboard on the corner of Southeast 49th St. and Powell Boulevard.

The imposing advertisement has caused a stir in Portland (see WW‘s blog: Do You Give a Rat’s A*#? April 6, 2011) by juxtaposing the images of a rat and little girl with the words “Who would you RATHER see live?”

The Billboard now reads “Who would RATHER live?” and the website at the bottom was changed from to

My opinion: Go to both websites and decide for yourself. I don’t think there is anyone in the world who would rather see a little girl die over a rat.  I believe these billboards oversimplify a very complex issue and appeal to people who can’t think critically. People on both sides of the issue are smart enough to not support this propaganda. I would hope that the Foundation for Biomedical Research thinks more of Portlanders that this.


About evan1983

Evan Sernoffsky is a freelance journalist in Sacramento, California.
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5 Responses to Controversial Billboard gets Makeover

  1. shawnah2011 says:

    Wow! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I am a huge animal lover and defend animals, but I agree no one is going to chose the animal over the girl, although it does get me thinking about all the issues surrounding both. This is a very powerful ad.

  2. I hadn’t seen this in the news yet–thanks for sharing! I think I’ll re-share it with a few friends in fact. And agreed, this is a very powerful ad.

  3. jedavis13 says:

    This ad is ridiculous. Although the cause itself is a touchy subject you would think they would want to go about it a little more cautiously. An ad like this is always hit or miss and it sounds like this time it missed. Thanks for posting.

  4. pdxsx says:

    That’s close to my neck of the woods and I just saw the defaced billboard. Very timely, newsworthy and relevant topic, Evan.

  5. Jake Neilson says:

    It stirred people up and made you visit both websites right? Then it did it’s job. It’s normally not good protocol to do advertisement to piss people off. But in that case it worked. Sorta. Not defending what they did, it’s not right. but they did get people to do something.

    Interesting issue. To bad they could not have gotten the same kind of attention with a better tactic.

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