A Canadian hair salon has been attacked and its owners sent death threats after using a model posed as a domestic violence victim to pledge its services could make a beaten woman look beautiful.
Edmonton business Fluid Salon said they had made her the 'hottest battered woman' ever and used the tagline 'Look good in all you do'.
Released on a New York blog it shows the well-groomed but bruised woman as her boyfriend or husband is about to give her an expensive diamond necklace.
A comment posted by Fluid Hair under the picture on its Facebook site reads: 'hottest battered woman I’ve ever laid my eyes upon.'
The image has swept across the internet and led to the premises being vandalised with the words in pink and purple paint 'This is art that is wrongly named violence' and 'That was violence wrongly named art'.
'Somebody had spilled paint and spray painted, and glued offensive messages to the windows of the salon,' Edmonton sergeant Rick Evans said, adding the business has been receiving hate mail and death threats.
Salon owner Sarah Cameron said the advert reflects society and should be considered art.
'It might strike a chord, but as the way our society and community is getting, we keep tailoring everything because everyone is getting so sensitive,' she said.
'Anyone who has a connection or a story behind anything can be upset or have an opinion. We are not trying to attack anyone.'
'We wanted to push limits. You see the picture, you think it’s a nice photo and then you see the controversy.
'We just like art, and it’s also objective.'
But campaigners have reacted furiously to the advert, which is one of six, saying that it glorified violence against women.
Jan Reimer, a provincial coordinator with the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters said:'It glamorises domestic violence. The ad is disturbing and chilling.
'They may have had the best of intentions, but I don’t think they thought it out much in terms of what the message is. It seems like this is an ad for domestic violence.'
'I was appalled,' blogger Kasia Gawlak said.
'It’s like saying, "at least you have good looking hair when your boyfriend abuses you."
'The women who have been abused (deal) with real pain, heartbreak and suffering — it’s not something that should be trivialised to sell a hair salon.'