A new ad promoting Adams Morgan has earned a surprising amount of scrutiny on the Internet. But the campaign—-which shows a couple playing footsie under a table and reads “al fresco. al frisky. they’re both on the menu in Adams Morgan”—-is being criticized for several reasons.

The criticisms, in descending order of seriousness:

  • In a blog post for anti-sexual assault group Collective Action for Safe Spaces, Victor Diaz Zapata writes that the ad, from the Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District, promotes Adams Morgan’s reputation as a neighborhood where men come to prey on drunk women. “It’s just bizarre to me to see the BID cash in on what I think was Adams Morgan’s old reputation that it had grown past,” Zapata tells City Desk. Kristen Barden, the BID’s executive director, declined to comment on Zapata’s criticism.
  • Is the couple in the foreground actually having an affair? The evidence here is the man and woman in the background are looking lovingly (perhaps flirtatiously) at the man and woman in the foreground, presumably not knowing that there’s a game of footsie afoot. “Yay adultery!” writes one PoPVille commenter. “I would be less offended if it didn’t promote Adams Morgan as a place for adultery,” writes another.
  • Finally, is the Adams Morgan BID promoting unhygienic behavior at the neighborhood’s restaurants? One PoPVille commenter, objecting to the ad on “tackiness” grounds, writes, “Playing footsie in a sidewalk cafe is just gross.”

What do you think, readers—-are you turned off by the footsie, or the sexual implications? Take it to the comments.

Photo by Victor Diaz Zapanta