Billboard for Akron Children’s Hospital Deemed Ungodly

'OMG' headline doesn't fly

So, this is what passes for controversy in Ohio these days. After receiving complaints about disrespecting God—though none directly from the Creator—Akron Children's Hospital is removing from a busy shopping district a billboard that reads "OMG! There's an Akron Children's ER in Montrose!" The sign also shows a youngster making a wide-mouthed Home Alone face of shock and disbelief. Look, I think we're all surprised that they have medical care this far out in the boonies—Doctors in Akron? Shut up—but the kid's reaction seems a bit extreme. Why would a hospital even take this approach? The combination of the Gossip Girl-y OMG (actually, Gossip Girl sometimes adds a fourth letter) and that image doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Quite the opposite. The kid's look could be read as one of shock and terror, and the sign interpreted as a warning to avoid the facility at all costs. ("Hang on, Jamie. They're butchers in Akron. We'll get that appendix out in Cincinnati!") To me, it's more WTF than blasphemous. Now, when it comes to offensive billboards, the makers of this cheeky classic are heading straight to hell—or Atlantic City, which is basically the same thing. It's hardly OMG, but perhaps ever so slightly NSFW. (IMHO.)

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.