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Different kind of 'job' billboard hits Clark and Ontario

February 14, 2013|By Adam Lukach, @lucheezy | RedEye

The intersection of Clark and Ontario downtown already has a lot going on, with Portillo's, Rainforest Cafe and the Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's adorning its corner. As of Wednesday, it has a head-turning new billboard as well.

McDonald's and pictures of its hot, steamy fries previously occupied the billboard on the northwest corner. Now the board, the first of its kind, features an ad for the dating site ArrangementFinders.com with a picture of former Charlie Sheen "Goddess" Bree Olsen and the tagline "Because the best job is a b**w job."

ArrangementFinders.com calls itself "the world's most popular dating site for women seeking mutually beneficial arrangements." Mutually beneficial arrangements are not lavish "sugar daddy" relationships, marketing director AJ Perkins said, but simply finding a different kind of relationship than something so traditionally romantic.

"Your typical guy is in his 40s, not a millionaire. He makes good money but is not a millionaire. That market exists in the dating world, it just was not reflected in a dating site, so we repositioned the brand in a way that refocused it," he said.

Perkins said the women using the site are typically seeking low-pressure relationships, and they tend to be in their 30s, sometimes with children. While there are girls as young as college-age on the site, Perkins stressed that the arrangements are not old-fashioned "arm candy" situations

Bree Olsen was the perfect spokesperson for the brand, he said, because she's a well-known face thanks to her Sheen fame and her work in the porn industry. Two other factors unique to Chicago pushed the company to launch the billboards here: a struggling job market and a 3-to-1 ratio of women to men on the site, the highest in the country.

"When [Chicago's unemployment report] came out, there was a chance to do a campaign that's in-your-face, but in a funny way," Perkins said. "We thought, 'How do you make it where you can look at it, get a chuckle and also start some buzz? We thought the job angle."

As far as expanding beyond their initial board, Perkins said the company is taking a wait-and-see approach.

"People are signing up like crazy, but the public outcry is so against it, then the billboard company might have to say, 'no, thank you, but we just can't do another.' We hope that that is not the case."

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