Many Blast New Broward Business Ads As Crude






An ad campaign designed to help Broward businesses is getting two thumbs down from many on social media, who brand it crude, juvenile and a waste of  money. 

The goal of the ads is for consumers — identified as a SOB or Supporter of Broward — to spend money in local businesses. 

But the use of SOB has been described as inappropriate amid the deaths and illness from the coronavirus. 




The campaign shocked one veteran communication executive who contacted Browardbeat. 

This expert initially didn’t see the ads but found out about them on social media:

“I saw something on social media about it and then noticed on my NextDoor App (that) neighbors all over the area are commenting and upset about it. They ran a survey (on Nextdoor) and 80% at this point disapprove of the campaign.

While I understand the edginess of it – I think it is in poor taste – esp now and esp in our community.”

Local resident Jim Bennett posted on Facebook, “An odd choice when you consider the already uncivil tone and behavior of folks on this issue.”

Fort Lauderdale resident Lynn Helm commented on Facebook: “Am no prude, but I think it is both crude and ignorant.”

And Taylor McKenzie wrote: “I’m not ‘offended’ per say by the attempt at levity with the double entendre, but I am put off by the fact it seems like completely juvenile, asinine, uninspired and amateur hour marketing campaign.”

Many posters called it a waste of money that is unlikely to encourage anybody to eat in restaurants or shop.

The campaign was developed by Zimmerman Advertising.  This is a firm that has been embroiled in controversy in the past.

Four years ago, Zimmerman’s no-bid $71.4 million advertising deal with Broward Health sparked a FBI investigation. 

The deal was called off after it was exposed by the media. No charges were filed against Zimmerman or its principals. 

Despite that earlier notoriety, Zimmerman Advertising is still a favorite of downtown Fort Lauderdale insiders based on its role in this campaign.  Six Pillars Broward, which is part of the business-development group Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, put the campaign together.

One interesting follow-the-dots: 

State Rep. Chip LaMarca, R-Fort Lauderdale, is a Six Pillars co-chair, according to the group’s website.  LaMarca was accused of helping grease Zimmerman’s controversial no-bid contract at Broward Health.

 It is not known if Zimmerman got paid for the SOB campaign. 

His business clients seem happy with his work. A news release announcing enthuse that the campaign is “dancing delightfully close to the edge of controversy.

“… with a wink, its colorful signage, ads and merchandise boldly remind people to eat, drink, shop and otherwise spend locally like an SOB, but also to wash, wear a mask, social distance and otherwise be safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus like an SOB.”

Creative Chairman of Zimmerman Advertising David Nathanson is quoted in the release as saying,“This work was intended to get people’s attention to focus on the local businesses right in their own backyard.”


David Nathanson


Here is the bottom line: 

Everybody wants Broward businesses to thrive. Everybody would like to see the restaurants, stores and the rest rake in more dough. 

But it isn’t going to happen until people feel comfortable and safe. That probably won’t happen until there is sure-fire treatments and a vaccine for the deadly virus. 

No amount of advertising with edgy slogans is changing that fact. 

Or as Lauren Dolyak wrote on a Facebook discussion of the new advertising campaign:

 “I won’t patronize any restaurant until cases drop Over 4k new cases in 1 wk. no thank you!!! I’ll stay alive & at home.” 




12 Responses to “Many Blast New Broward Business Ads As Crude”

  1. FTL Voter says:

    It is obnoxious and horrible. I would never ever display one of their “SOB” signs in any business I own. What were they thinking? I hope they didn’t get paid much for this clunker of a messaging campaign.

  2. Old Timer says:

    cute … acute … like indigestion

  3. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    ‘Inappropriate’ doesn’t come close to the insanity n tastelessness of using ‘SOB’ in a positive campaign let alone one for a city noted for the number of Churches! Is the campaign to be distributed to children n at Church events? Really really DUMBxxx

  4. disgruntled says:

    lauren, ok, stay home, all the restaurants ive been to in the last week are busy, so why overcrowd it with your fearsome self….. b ut I do agree the SOB campaign is more than a bit sophomoric….

  5. Broward Proud says:

    Son of a Bitch! SOB also stands for the known medical acronym, Shortness of Breath, a common symptom with Corinavirus. I’m disgusted but not surprised that the elected official who likely pushed this through needed some more money from his buddies at the ad agency. Don’t fall for his lies that he cares about our community.

  6. Linda says:

    Please just stop it.
    DEFUND the SOB.

  7. Floridan says:

    Oh, please, where is the fainting couch when we need one?

    With all the life-and-death issues going on in our region and state today, this rather innocuous initialism is hardly worthy of a “how will we explain this to the children” response.

  8. A reader says:

    No thanks, I will not be an SOB. I am quite content being a” BS er:. Just existing as a simple Broward Supporter will do for me.

  9. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Good Art Good Taste Good Writing makes Good Selling the great Bill Bernbach who co founded the precursor of the holding company that owns Zimmerman.

  10. David Millstein says:

    I’d forgotten all about the Chipster’s little scandal. How did he get away with that? What was the outcome of the investigation that was supposedly going to happen?

  11. Bob Adams says:

    I would love to know how much the taxpayers of Broward County paid Zimmerman Advertising to create this garbage!

  12. Knows For Sure says:

    Seems they opted for “Sensationalism” rather than substance. Hard to believe this is a Zimmerman product.