"Life's Short. Get a Divorce.''
The billboard, sponsored by Fetman, Garland & Associates, Ltd., a firm that specializes in divorce cases, features the six-pack abs of a headless male torso and tanned female cleavage heaving forth from a black lace bra.
The ad is the brainchild of Corri Fetman, who told ABC News' Law & Justice Unit, "Law firm advertising is boring…everything's always the same. It's lawyers in libraries with a suit on and the law books behind them. They don't say anything. What, I should hire you because you have a law degree? C'mon. So we wanted to try something different."
Reaction from those who work in and around Chicago's divorce courts has been less than enthusiastic.
"It's grotesque,'' said John Ducanto, past president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. "It's totally undignified and offensive."
"It trivializes divorce and I think it's absolutely disgusting," Rick Tivers, a clinical social worker at the Center for Divorce Recovery in Chicago, told ABC News. "Divorce is traumatic enough without this kind of [advertising]. We try and help people go through the divorce process with as much integrity as possible. A lot of my work is helping people grieve the loss of a divorce, and their own sense of betrayal. This makes divorce seem like it's not a big deal, and it's a huge deal for many people.''
Ducanto called on the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee of Supreme Court of Illinois to sanction Fetman. "I don't think they'll just let this pass,'' said Ducanto, who seemed genuinely hurt by the ad. "I have been in practice for 52 years, and I've worked my ass off to change the image of this particular area of the legal practice, and to see some punk try and pervert the whole image in the interest of lucre. … Sure, she's got a lot of attention, but it's like a guy who spits on a table — you got the attention, sure, but what kind of attention is it? This has to be the Academy Award of bad taste''.
But Fetman defends the billboard, almost gleefully. Recycling popular catch phrases seems to come naturally to her. "Lawyers don't cause divorces. People cause divorces,'' she said. "If you think somebody's going to look at a billboard and go out and get a divorce as a result, you're insulting the intelligence of people. If that's the case, our next billboard is going to read, 'Gimme Your Money.' "
As far as Fetman is concerned, it's a lighthearted splash of color in an otherwise dreary area of legal advertisement. "It promotes happiness,'' she said. "It promotes happiness and personal integrity."
And happiness may be something that Fetman, a divorcee, is seeking herself. "By the way, the male body on the billboard? That's my personal trainer, Chuck Sanow," Fetman told ABC News, her girlish voice rising just so. "He's a Chicago firefighter and he owns a gym."
Lifesshort says "Big up to Fetman...Booooooooo to Ducanti". Like Fetman, we're not advocating divorce as the route to happiness, but if that's what yer need then, get on it ! And po-faced moaners are not invited to the Lifesshort party so Ducanti is blacklisted.
Whatever you do someone will say "You shouldn't do that, it's naughty", like you're in the infants school and the teacher says you can't lick your tongue out at people - will it hurt anyone ?
Ha ha - Fetman, we salute you ;)