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Gym owner defends controversial billboard after it's attacked

Gym owner defends controversial billboard after it's attacked

The owner was shocked when he spotted the poster had been vandalised

A gym owner has defended an advert he put up after it was vandalised.

Ollie Lawrence runs PT Factory in Denton, Greater Manchester, and recently paid for a new billboard to go up.

But it really didn't go down very well with some people in the local community, and was defaced very quickly.

The tongue-in-cheek poster shows a woman working out and says: “Tired of being fat and ugly? Now just be ugly!"

While he said that most people reacted pretty well to the ad, he did admit he received some complaints about it.

And on Monday (12 December), he saw that someone had chucked a load of paint all over it.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Ollie said: "I couldn’t believe it. It was just a light-hearted joke. It wasn’t our intention to offend anybody."

Ollie's advert was defaced.
Ollie Lawrence

Ollie, who set the gym up over a decade ago, said they'd done a bit of market research around the billboard before putting it up.

He thought it was pretty funny and would just make people laugh.

“I would not have put it up otherwise,” he said.

“We spoke to a lot of people beforehand and 99 percent have seen it for what it is - a joke. We’ve had thousands of comments saying how brilliant it is.

“We have had about eight of nine complaints and unfortunately, someone has done what they have done."

Adding: "There’s nothing malicious in it. That’s not who we are as a business.

The owner plans on replacing it.
Ollie Lawrence

“We wanted to get a funny line out there to try and get our personality across. How do you do that on a billboard?

"We’re a really friendly gym. The eight people who have complained don’t actually know me as a person.

“I’m a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. I’ve always been in this industry to help people.”

Ollie said he thinks whoever vandalised the poster was totally out of order, and he assured them that he plans on putting up another one.

He said: "The billboard was quite expensive, that’s the main reason I was upset.

"It's a step too far. There are things I might disagree with but I don’t go vandalising them. I just ignore it and think ‘that business isn’t for me’.”

Featured Image Credit: Ollie Lawrence

Topics: UK News, Crime, Health