From the “What the Heck Were They Thinking?” Department

I never cease to be amazed by stupidity, especially from people who should know better. The employees who wear expensive suits at Aaron Brothers Art Mart planned a promotional campaign  they called Artrageous. The stupid part is what they will be giving away and demonstrating at their free art events. Graffiti vandals will be instructing attendees how to use their free  ”Graffiti Starter Kits!”

This is from an event poster:

Aaron Brothers graffiti event in San Diego is
happening on August 13th, 2011 from 1-5pm to help benefit the Boys & Girls Club of America. The event will have live painting by the graffiti writers: Revok, Risk, Sever, Wane, and Ces. For more information check out

According to the office of Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, Aaron Brothers is advertising and distributing the kit, which includes paints and markers, as part of its “Artrageous” promotion. Zine wants the store to stop passing out the kits or to post a message for consumers about the “ramifications and penalties of graffiti vandalism.” Councilman Zine threatened to file a cease and desist order against the company.

I cannot imagine anyone I know promoting their business to their community by doing something as moronic as having graffiti vandals — Aaron Brothers calls them “graffiti artists,” which is like putting lipstick on a pig– give instructions on how to tag.

Many small business owners don’t realize the marketing advantage they have. At our level, we engage with our customers one on one and we make the personal connections that build loyalty. Trying to emulate big business branding practices is not necessarily the way for a neighborhood independent shop to promote itself.

I suspect the committee who came up with that promotion, and the employees who had to approve it, are reasonably intelligent. But when you place individuals in that environment, their IQ number becomes the same as their age.

But perhaps Aaron Brothers president isn’t as big a lame brain as the idiots in his marketing department. This week the company cancelled all their “Urban Art Events” in the greater Los Angeles area. Or maybe he is, as they continue trying to unsuccessfully
imitate small business.

Santa Barbara is also unhappy.

Artrageous? No, it’s outrageous.

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