It's funny what passes for offensive these days

The ads weren't far from each other on Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown.

One, on a billboard, was critical of an automobile and home insurance company.

The other, draped across the sprawling face of a tall building, was a vodka promotion that appeared to include an essential part of the female anatomy.

Any guess which one was torn down because of a complaint?

"Truth is more controversial than pornography," said Harvey Rosenfield, founder of Consumer Watchdog, whose ad was dismantled last week. All the ad said was, "You Can't Trust Mercury Insurance," with a referral to Consumer Watchdog's website, which lays out 10 concerns the organization has with Mercury.

And the other billboard?

"If you drive three to four blocks east of where ours was," said Rosenfield's colleague, Jamie Court, "there's a huge Absolut Mango ad, and it's really not a mango."

Court said he was alerted by his wife, who happened upon it while driving and made the following observation:

"There's a five-story vagina on a building."

Having visited the location Tuesday afternoon, I'd like to make a clarification.

There's a 10-story vagina on a building.

Sure, art is in the eye of the beholder, but I know a mango when I see one.

A pedestrian walked by on Wilshire and I asked his thoughts. He gazed up and said:

"What is it, a womb?"

"Close," I said.

Across the street at the non-denominational Christ Church of the Living Christ and the Loving Heart, secretary and longtime congregant Mary Metz said she hadn't noticed the ad. But when she walked out with me and looked up, she gave a little nod and said:

"Oh, yes."

Meaning what?

It certainly could be seen as suggestive, Metz said. And she was not the least bit surprised.

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