As many of you know, despite their best efforts in 2009, the residents of Southington were unable to prevent a VIP store from opening in a certain designated commercial zone.  Ten years later, VIP of Southington is driving a very large and offensive billboard van with provocative models displaying their “wares” in neighborhoods I shop and drive my family.  This is deeply offensive and violates my community standards as it should yours.  Not very surprisingly, the officer I contacted told me that he’s seen them all over town for years and other than filing an official complaint there isn’t anything he or local law enforcement can really do.  I respect that for now, but there is so much more we can do as residents.

What can we do?

Attend our Lobby Day on May 1 in Hartford.  Numbers matter for this topic and everything FIC works on by God’s Grace and with your help. Please consider attending and bring others! 🙂

When you see an offensive advertisement, take a picture.  How blessed we are to have technology at our fingertips that enables us to take pictures easily.  Let’s keep a record of the offending images that are being plastered in our community (including license plate).  Here’s my picture . .

VIP Southington van outside of Webster Bank on Reidville Drive in Waterbury. Afternoon of April 24, 2019.

Talk to the driver of the van and tell him or her their van is unwelcome in your neighborhood.  It is still a free country! Speak to the driver and tell them you find their billboard offensive.  A little finger-wagging can go a long way.  I spoke to this driver and below is what was claimed . . .

  • “Similar outfits are found at the beach.” ? I have to say that nobody at any beach I go to looks like those women and very few use their silk sheets in such a manner. Regardless, there is a time and place for everything and when you go to the beach there is an expectation that someone may be wearing a bikini or similar.  I choose particular beaches or sections of beach based on what to expect and who is with me.  This sign however is about 10 times the size of an average woman and unavoidable and on a public thruway.  It’s just not the same.
  • “VIP employs over 100 people.” I understand that CT is undergoing some type of phenomena where any vice is ok as long as it brings in tax dollars . . a la marijuana and gambling (hello prostitution and what next?). However, having people employed at your store located at a pre-designated red-light district, or commercial zone, whatever they call it, does not permit you to drive around town with racy advertisements.  This is just not a serious argument.

File a complaint with local law enforcement.  We are taxpayers and deserve to be heard.  Chances are your local police department will lament there is nothing they can do, but they can do a lot by registering our objections. I wonder about the claim that there is nothing police can do.  Certainly they’d do something if the sign showed dogs being euthanized or lambs being slaughtered.  These are legal businesses also but I doubt similar advertisements would or should be welcomed.

Complain to your local elected officials. Your elected officials in town, city and state government want to hear from you!

Notify the stores where the billboard is parked.  Tell Stop & Shop, Raymour & Flannigan, Webster Bank and others that you don’t want to drive into their shopping plaza when the VIP van is parked out front.  Talk to a manager . . . I did for most of them!  It was easy and they welcomed my comments.  Did they do anything? I’m not sure. But despite any minor objections, their managers want to know what will deter you from shopping at their stores and they have every right to ask the van to leave and also complain to Southington VIP about the use of their space. Southington VIP’s phone number is (860) 628-6910.

Speaking of Southington VIP, call them and complain.  I did and they listened to my complaint and agreed to tell the owner.  They are open till midnight, so there is plenty of time to call.  If calling isn’t your thing, here is there address . . .  VIP Southington, 228 Queen St, Southington, CT 06489

Write a letter to the editor.  Our local newspapers make it very easy to submit a letter to the editor.

Tweet, retweet and leave a post on Facebook.  Social media is a powerful tool but you need to “tag” the stores and public officials.  Tag your mayor, elected officials, police departments, stores, media, etc.  We have so many useful tools, we should use them.  Here is an example:

Hey, we’ve been successful in the case of Electric Blue and East Hartford! We can apply positive influence, we can talk plainly and courteously with the stores we shop and the officials who represent us; let’s do our part to resist the continued downward pressure on our community standards. We owe it to our loved ones and to future generations.  It is not difficult. God has given us the tools.  Let’s bring all the tools we have to put pressure on commercial organizations and continue to resist VIP!