'Polygamy Porter' sparks billboard flap

Outdoor advertising agency refuses to put up sign featuring six-pack of wives

Nov 7, 2001 - An outdoor advertising agency has expressed its opinion of Wasatch Beer's latest advertising campaign for its Polygamy Porter by refusing to erect a highway billboard for the beer despite a contract between the agency and Schirf Brewing Co.


Reagan Outdoor Advertising maintains the planned billboard -- which features a picture of a scantily clad man, cherubs and a six-pack of wives -- is in bad taste and exercised a "censorship" clause in its contract with Schirf. "We've exhibited much worse taste than this," brewery owner Greg Schirf told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Among other things, the billboard would suggest "when enjoying our flavorful beverages please procreate responsibly."

Wasatch Beer has long satirized the Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) culture with its advertising. Previous Reagan billboards for Wasatch featured the buxom blond namesake for St. Provo Girl Pilsner and catchphrases "Baptize your taste buds," "Serving the local faithful" and "Oh, my heck."

Utah is home to thousands of practicing polygamists who say they are following fundamental teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints though the practice was disavowed by the church in 1890.

"I sure don't like it, but I don't think there is anything I can do about it," said Owen Allred, leader of the nation's second-largest polygamist church, the Bluffdale-based Apostolic United Brethren. "We do not believe in alcoholic drinks of any kind. It's definitely a slam against the polygamists."

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