Claim:   Billboard sponsored by the Funeral Directors Association urges viewers to commit suicide.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, January 2012]

Is this billboard real?

I just can’t imagine any humanely moral city allowing that to be posted.


Origins:   The text on the sign shown in the above picture reads:

Last year, 30,622 folks in this nation chose suicide.

30,622 people can’t be wrong.


Hang with the “in” crowd!

The legend underneath advises readers that the sign was “Authorized and paid for by the Funeral Directors Association” and urges them to “Support your local funeral home. We gotta eat too, you know.”

All of this, accompanied by the image of a happy face inside a hangman’s noose, was a bit too much for some viewers to take, prompting them to send us inquiries asking who could have been so heartless and cruel as to create and allow the display of such a sign.

As usual, context is king. This isn’t a sign that was actually displayed in any U.S. city; it’s an entry from a 2005 Photoshop contest challenging participants to come up with the most creative Public Harm Announcement (i.e., “the opposite of a public safety announcement”). This entry, which was based on an iStockphoto of a billboard on a building, was the 2nd place finisher.

Last updated:   16 July 2015