Liquor store’s controversial billboard angers Las Vegas residents

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LAS VEGAS, Nevada — A billboard that was probably meant as a joke turns out is no laughing matter to some. It’s an ad for alcohol from a popular liquor company, but the attempt at humor isn’t very funny to some people.

The billboard is for Lee’s Discount Liquor, and its message is: “Alcohol is cheaper than therapy”.

Mother, Lourdes Mansouri’s mouth dropped when she read this billboard.

“Putting a sign that alcohol is cheaper than therapy. Unbelievable that’s what I say. It’s unbelievable,” Mansouri said.

She says close friend of hers died as a result of a drunk driver.

“She was a mother of three and she died in a crash accident and she was on her way to work at three in the morning, and she got killed by a drunk driver, so i don’t think alcohol is cheaper than therapy, I don’t think so,” Mansouri said.

Public relations consultant Ira David Sternberg drove past the billboard and found himself doing a double take. Sternberg tells us the billboard probably wasn’t intended to make light of the situation, but the message fell short. Perhaps he says another set of eyes should have been called in before it went on the billboard.

“It shouldn’t come from a retail operator kind of product. It really should come from someone else, a comedian talking about his history in therapy for example. That could be funny. But not when you’re selling the product,” Sternberg said.

So many people were outraged, that a national petition was started on Change.org. The petition urged the owners of Lee’s Discount Liquor to remove the billboard saying it’s a socially irresponsible message model to everyone.

But not everyone was offended.

“I think it’s entertaining and humorous. I do believe it to some degree, because therapy is very expensive now and alcohol is very cheap,” said Jonathan Sims.

“It’s way cheaper. Go buy me a bottle. Ain’t got to worry about no damn therapy, especially dealing with my crazy kids,” said Booker Payne.

One woman says the sign while not humorous is sadly true.

“It’s sad because a lot of people are addicted to alcohol and it takes an awful lot of treatment to try to get them off it, and often you can’t get them off it,” said Elspeth Fyfe.

News 3 spoke to the company’s owner, who told us the billboard will be taken down next week.

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