Pizza Shop Owner Takes Down Billboard After Locals Complain It's 'Offensive'

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After working with the East of Chicago Pizza chain from 1995, Jeremy Clemetson finally opened his own East of Chicago Pizza restaurant in Barberton, Ohio, 14 years ago.

In the last year, Clemetson started creating outdoor advertising with humorous slogans.

Some of the ones he has used include: "Now Hiring, Must Show Up", "If it's not there in 30 minutes, move closer", "Free Box with Every Pizza", "Our Deep Dish Pizza is as big as a pothole", and "Tammy, you need to show up to work," when one of his employees took an extended medical leave.

"I scour the internet for different signs that people had. Sometimes I use them and sometimes I re-invent my own," he said.

He stated that the responses he gets have been tremendously positive.

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Clemetson had his sights set on a new slogan: "Fat people are harder to kidnap." The humorous line has been printed on popular t-shirts sold on the internet, is the name of a Facebook page and has also been used in a buffet ad by a large motel chain.

"I discussed the sign with a few people and everyone thought it was funny, so I threw it up on our front sign and no one said anything," he said.

The sign, which spent weeks on his Facebook page, did not receive any negative comments.

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However, he later took the sign down after complaints were lodged with the corporate headquarters.

The complainant sent the same email to Fox 8, which stated that the sign was "rude" and stated that the kidnapping reference was in poor taste especially since January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The complainant also called out the sign for making fun of fat people.

"I have seven kids of my own, I am from the community here, I've lived here pretty much all of my life. I live in Barberton. I have strong roots here. I never even thought about it as the kidnapping aspect, I just meant it to be funny," Clemetson stated.

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Fox 8 interviewed a number of people, and many who had seen the billboard on Monday thought it was funny. However, some understood how it could cause offense.

"I never even thought about it in that way, kidnapping is not a joke, we are taking it down. But there are still going to be more funny signs up here and more funny signs around the community, and if anyone has any comments, my door is always open," Clemetson said.

He stated that the billboard would be taken down in the next couple of days.

Sources: America Now / Photo Credit: Fox 8 News Cleveland

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