Media criticism

Press release o' the day: suggestive enough for Huffington Post


For the second time in less than a year, a press release has come in flacking a sexually suggestive billboard supposedly aimed at UCLA students. The billboards aren't actually near the UCLA campus, nor do they mention UCLA or any other students. But it's just a press release, right? The point is to sucker some media outlet into providing free coverage. Preferably without asking any questions.

This time the billboard, for "sugardaddy dating site" pushed by retired porn actress Bree Olson, is way down in West LA at the corner of Pico and Gateway — three miles from the Westwood campus. It's much closer to several elementary schools, Webster Middle School and St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church and school — as well as a few strip clubs. It even points away from any traffic that might be headed toward UCLA, and is right in the midst of the Expo Line construction mess that anyone who commutes in the area knows to avoid. So if any Bruins notice that billboard at all, it would essentially be accidental.

But the press release says it's "near the UCLA campus," and how is the Los Angeles section of the Huffington Post to know any better? Here's how HuffPo LA covered this big story:

A new raunchy billboard near the UCLA campus features a former porn star beckoning students to be paid for oral sex.

The billboard was put up by, a "sugardaddy dating site," and stars former adult performer Bree Olson (she also used to date Charlie Sheen). Olson smiles next to the message, "Do you have good oral skills? We've got a job for you."

The billboard is at the corner of Pico Blvd. and Gateway Blvd.

The site's chief marketing office AJ Perkins said in a statement about the billboard, "After three months of hanging out by the beach and taking it easy, we want to remind female students they have other options in life besides just hard work."

Olson has a deal with the site to appear in TV commercials, billboard campaigns and radio spots throughout 2013.

Here's the release itself — see if you can spot any actual HuffPo reporting that goes beyond the flackery:

Bree Olson shocked Angelenos with her raunchy billboard campaign for sugardaddy dating site earlier this year, and now the retired porn star has returned to sugar daddy headquarters to commemorate ‘back to school’ with a brand new ad. Located at the corner of Pico Blvd. and Gateway near the UCLA campus, the offensive billboard features a minimally clad Olson alongside the smutty slogan, "Do You Have Good Oral Skills? We've Got A Job For You."

The site's CMO AJ Perkins is hopeful the billboard will capture the attention of the thousands of college students heading back to UCLA after a relaxing summer off. "After 3 months of hanging out by the beach and taking it easy, we want to remind female students they have other options in life besides just hard work," slithers Perkins. Per her exclusive deal with, Olson will appear in TV commercials, billboard campaigns, and radio spots throughout 2013.

LA Observed photo from Pico and Gateway

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