Residents Say Billboard Has 'Got To Go'

A yellow billboard ad along Broadway with the tag, "Can't Pee?" has some residents peeved.

Residents just can't hold in their disdain for a billboard ad that recently popped up in Fair Lawn.

"Can't Pee?" probes the giant snappy yellow ad that's plainly visible when driving westbound on Broadway.

The billboard, located behind , invites sufferers of urinary retention to visit www.iCantUrinate.com or call a 1-800 number for more information.

Visiting the web address takes you to a site for the Maywood-based New Jersey Center for Prostate Cancer and Urology.

George Bate, chair of the Property Maintenance Committee, expressed his concerns about the offending billboard at last week's Broadway Special Improvement District meeting.

"When I saw it," Bate said of the sign, whose picture he presented at the meeting," I was a little confused and dismayed. I said, 'Gee, I don't think this should be on Broadway.'"

Don Smartt, the committee's district administrator, said he was ambivalent about the ad, but could see why some people find it a less-than-effective appeal.

"I’m not sure it’s the most successful way to get their message across," said Smartt, who wasn't familiar with the ad until Bate brought it to his attention. "Urinary incontinence is a serious subject. And I’m not sure the billboard treats it in the manner that anyone experiencing the problem would appreciate."

The New Jersey Center for Prostate Cancer and Urology could not be reached for comment, but a representative from CBS, which owns the billboard, said it had no intention of taking the ad down.

"It’s an attention-seeking ad for a serious topic and it met with our standards, so we did take it," said Jodi Senese, the executive vice president of marketing at CBS Outdoor.

Senese said she hadn't heard any complaints about the sign, and called it "very not likely," that it would be pulled. Senese said she wasn't sure how long the ad would remain on display.

Assistant borough manager Jim Van Kruiningen said there isn't anything the borough can do about the billboard because it's privately owned.

Smartt echoed his sentiment, adding that nothing short of a barrage of convincing complaints would be likely to get the ad removed.

"If the buyer were to be convinced that the conveyance of this message were resulting in a negative, they may be disinclined to continue the campaign," he said. "If someone finds an objection to it, the advertiser has made it real simple to let them know by posting their number."

A call placed to the 1-800 hotline number posted on the billboard yielded the following propitious pre-recorded message:

"If you are suffering from frequent urination, decreased stream, interrupted sleep, pain, burning or sudden urges, we may have the solution for you.”

Unfortunately for fed up Fair Lawn residents, it doesn't appear they'll be getting relief any time soon.

Kim January 18, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Broadway is the trashiest section of town and residents r concerned about a billboard? They should be thankful it takes driver's eyes up instead of looking at run down storefronts and vacant stores.
June January 18, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Kim, Residents are not happy about the looks of Broadway...it is a State Highway...FL has no control over it. Yes, that sign is gross, why would that get approved yet we can't get funding to fix Broadway....Trashy is hardly I word I would use to describe any part of Fair Lawn. Grow up
FL1985 January 18, 2012 at 08:33 PM
If I were the owner of the sign or the advertiser, I'd be so happy about all the free publicity I am getting! Disinclined to discontinue?! You kidding me, I'd exercise my option to renew as soon as possible. In fact, I'd try to find a good proctologist to take the flip side of the sign, so I could get patrons coming and going.
June January 18, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Stuart Pace January 18, 2012 at 10:01 PM
each time I sign on to the patch, I get the urge to pee. move that article.
Mark C. January 18, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Kim.....Broadway is not bad at all. I'll show you places in Jersey City...Hoboken...that fit the word trashy. The billboard is goofy. Hoping we don't see Vodka signs anytime soon.
Fair Lawn Watchdog January 18, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Previously the Fair Lawn residents and passerbys had to endure two other billboards in horrible taste. One huge billboard was for a ghastly tattoo parlor urging underage patrons to illegally visit their sleazy shop for a tramp stamp or worse. The other, was an all foreign language billboard, the biggest one ever, for Cablevision. Why it wouldn't be in English is unknown.
* January 18, 2012 at 11:45 PM
According ro an adticle about councilwoman swain : its taxes nothing else that concerns residents so jist ignore the sign
Bruce Knuckle January 19, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Good thing we have Master Bate on the committee to follow up on this pee sign. Although, I do not know how he can be confused, you can either pee or you can't. The sign is simple.
K. January 19, 2012 at 02:35 PM
It's hysterical! How can one not laugh or at least get a smile on their face when driving and seeing that?
Me January 19, 2012 at 09:45 PM
It's a sign. How is it offending? Get over it people.
Me January 19, 2012 at 09:47 PM
A for effort on the joke. D for content. It was a nice try though.
TheMrs January 20, 2012 at 12:44 AM
I think it's an outstanding way to grab someone's attention.... K is right though... How can you not laugh at this billboard? Lol
Stuart Pace January 20, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Fair Lawn- A nice place to visit, a better place to pee.
kenny laube January 20, 2012 at 03:19 PM
What is bothering the residents the word pee? or the content of the billboard problems urinating? Would a different public service message about Breast Cancer awareness or Spousal abuse be inappropriate also? I guess they can give thanks that an endocrinologist didn't advertise a brown sign Can" Poop?
Jonathan Pelc January 21, 2012 at 01:58 AM
What is wrong with people today when they have nothing to complain about, except the word pee! Get over it people, there are alot more pressing issues in our society. But then again it is typical Fair Lawn.
Marty Cone January 21, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Get used to it, the Patersonation of Fair Lawn is under way. A pee billboard is nothing compared to the signs you see in Paterson about guns, pregnancy, drugs....., Fair Lawn is not far behind
* January 22, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Youre not kidding Mr Cone! The Governing Body better smarten up!
JP January 22, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I'll bet the exact same people who are complaining about this sign would b*tch & moan about having their own free speech restricted.


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