Domestic violence group hopes Dallas transit bus ads shock, ultimately protect

Marketing Professor Dan Howard of SMU's Cox School of Business talks about the use of ads on DART buses that call attention to domestic violence and ultimately help protect families.

The Dallas Morning News

The new ads on DART buses are meant to shock.

One features a smiling little girl in a tiara with the message: "One day my husband will kill me."

Another shows a smiling boy: "When I grow up, I will beat my wife."

The ads, also inside hundreds of buses, are part of a provocative new campaign for The Family Place, which provides a hotline, shelter, housing and counseling programs to victims of domestic violence.

Paige Flink, the Dallas nonprofit's executive director, said the agency wanted to take a new approach after 30 years of working with victims of family violence.

Past campaigns have included images of bruised women or men behind bars. This time, the idea was to focus on an often forgotten victim of domestic violence: children. Kids who grow up in homes with domestic violence are more likely to become victims or abusers, Ms. Flink said. . .

Ads with shock value like The Family Place's are sure to offend some, said Southern Methodist University professor Dan Howard, chairman of the marketing department at SMU's Cox School of Business. But he believes the ads are effective.

"I think these are fair. They're attention-grabbing and they get the message across," Dr. Howard said. He said they are likely to appeal to a woman's concern for her children.

"There are some women who will do more to protect their children than they will to protect themselves," he said.

Read the full story.

# # #