Update: See bottom of this post for updates on apologies from PosterGiant and Specialized.
Earlier: Specialized bikes, a California company, hired a Seattle guerrilla marketing company called Poster Giant to put up ads for its bikes around the city. Unfortunately, Poster Giant pasted two huge ad posters over murals that had been specially painted on plywood covering the blown out windows of Greenwood businesses damaged in the March 9 natural gas explosion.
The poster below is pasted over the mural at G&O Family Cyclery‘s storage area, around the corner from its storefront. Both were severely damaged in the explosion.
Another poster was pasted over the mural on Insurrection, adjacent to the three businesses that were completely destroyed. (Insurrection has temporarily relocated to the Phinney Center while its building is fixed.)
Posters for an expo and a record were pasted on the plywood outside Gorditos, but it’s unclear if they were put up by the same marketing company.
Seattle Bike Blog contacted Specialized, which has apologized. You can read Seattle Bike Blog’s full post here.
Update 9:15 p.m.: G&O Family Cyclery has an interesting blog post about the incident here.
Update April 7: Both PosterGiant and Specialized have contributed $1,000 to G&O’s GoFundMe campaign to help it rebuild after the natural gas explosion. And both wrote apologies along with those donations.
Here’s what PosterGiant posted with their donation:
The posterGIANT team is honored to contribute to your rebuild and we hope you’ll accept this donation. We regret any part in this misunderstanding and we look forward to seeing you back in business as soon possible.
And here’s Specialized’s mea culpa:
Hello G&O Family Cyclery, we hope you accept our donation to rebuild, and continue to make a positive impact on families and cyclists in your community. We are deeply sorry for the regrettably placed poster on your shop earlier this week. As you are aware at this point, our team had worked with an outside agency to put up posters on vacant buildings and by a stroke of bad luck and an uninformed street team, the poster was placed. We want to reinforce that this was in no way intentional or malicious, and instead an honest mistake. We are taking the appropriate actions to have it removed immediately. We very much respect and stand strong with local bike shops such as yours, as owners like you are what keep the bicycle culture thriving. Regardless of bike, brand, or location, we want to see local bike shops succeed and continue to serve their communities. – The Team at Specialized