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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Bon App. pleads ignorance on bawdy ads

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A woman’s rear end, clad only in a translucent white bikini bottom, hung seductively about mid-frame. A QR code rested in the small of her back. “Stop staring and take her picture,” read the bolded caption under the photo.

It was an advertisement for South Padre Island, a resort town on Texas’s Gulf Coast and a noted destination for collegiate spring-breakers.

Brittany Johnson ’18 spotted the ads on tables in the LDC Monday and posted a picture to popular Facebook forum Overheard at Carleton. “Uncomfortable marketing tactics,” she wrote.

Dining hall manager Bon Appétit swiftly removed the signs – but not before becoming entangled in a campus brouhaha.

“I think it’s disturbing that women are objectified like this. I think it’s more disturbing that, because they were placed in our dining hall, we were forced to look at them,” said one sophomore who asked not to be identified.

For its part, the management company denied any knowledge of the ads.

“Someone came into the dining hall and placed ads without permission,” wrote general manager Katie McKenna, “Ads are not allowed in the serving or seating areas of the dining hall.”

Her comments were echoed by Dining Board manager Jennie Pope.

“No one contacted me to put them on the tables,” she said.

Questions remain, however, about how an agent for the advertising company managed to place dozens of the ads on LDC tables without being noticed by Bon Appétit employees. Adding to the confusion, the comment thread on Johnson’s original post – which included remarks by two Bon Appétit student managers – was wiped clean a day after it first went up. Johnson herself did not reply to a request for comment.

Pope, however, was resolute.

“We don’t put out anything on tables loose [outside of a plastic case] like that,” she said, “It’s not sustainable.”

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