The Patrick Cannon scandal has made for daily headlines in Charlotte. In Greensboro, its become the butt of billboard jokes.
Since last week, a digital billboard owned by Marty Kotis company has been turning heads with its ad that makes fun of Cannons arrest last week on public-corruption charges.
The ad features a doctored photo of Cannon standing in a waist-high pile of cash, the city of Charlotte skyline in the background. Two messages appear next to the ad: Charlotte mayor says show me the money! and All this can be yours for the right price.
Outdoor Signage, which owns the billboard, decided to turn the Cannon ordeal into one of the companys pop culture ads, Kotis said. Similar ads in the past have taken aim at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the birth last year of Prince Williams and Kate Middletons first baby.
The goal of the pop culture ads, Kotis said, is to get people to pay attention to the billboard, so they see the other, more serious ads.
Its designed to get people to look up, see it and talk about it, he said.
Kotis said hes not trying to make a political statement with the ad.
I would do the same thing if he was a Republican or a Democrat. Im a Republican, he said.
The billboard overlooks Battleground Avenue and sits on land owned by another company Kotis owns, Kotis Properties. Its near Westover Gallery of Shops, a shopping center north of downtown Greensboro.
Kotis said its the only billboard he owns since he jumped into the billboard business last year. Now, hes doing what he can to get people to notice it. At the moment, that means coming up with as many Cannon ads as Outdoor Signage can by combing through the federal affidavit that outlines the allegations against Cannon.
Were having a little bit of fun with it here, he said.
So, what will the next Cannon-inspired ad be? Kotis said itll probably focus on the trip Cannon took to Las Vegas last year. According to the affidavit, Cannon agreed to lie to foreign investors on the trip.
Kotis doesnt plan to stop there. In his estimation, the Cannon scandal is worth maybe four more ads.
He said hes mostly received positive feedback from the ads.
I only got one negative message so far from someone, he said.
They werent offended by it. They just thought it was tacky.
Roberts: 704-358-5248; Twitter: @DeonERoberts
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less