USF says risque campaign works

Signs on campus offend some students

TAMPA - The signs are all around campus. You can't miss them. In big pink letters, the word reads 'swallow.'

‪And as a grad student on a campus that has had three sexual assaults reported since September, Aphrodite Kocieda is disgusted.  ‬ "When I walk to my car at night, a reality for me is being raped, and so to have a sign up that says 'swallow' is offensive and just stupid."‬

‪Kocieda is a communications major and self-described feminist. She does not see the humor in the campaign created by USF's Wellness Services Department.‬

‪The full message of the campaign is "it starts with a swallow."

‪There are free water giveaways and tips about why it's important to hydrate. ‬

‪But to be heard, officials acknowledge, sex sells.

‪"We have to have sexy messages in marketing.  Any marketing person will tell you that. If you want to get people's attention, you have to link it to something they are really interested in," said Wellness Services vice president Diane Zanto.

‪This isn't the first time Wellness Services went the risque route.‬

‪They used "Are you getting any?" to promote a good night's rest.‬

‪"I think using pornographic shock attacks in a pornographic culture is illogical and it really demonstrates a lack of creativity," said Kocieda.

‪Wellness Services says while they've had a few complaints, most students like the campaign, and are not offended.‬

‪"People need to lighten up and have a sense of humor," said one female student as she grabbed a free bottled water.

‪"I guess with anything, you can take it and make it mean something else. But they are just trying to get people to drink more water. And that's a good thing," said student Olivia Means.

‪The campaign actually ends Thursday, but those who created it say 'mission accomplished.'  While it was going on, they saw the number of likes on the USF Wellness Facebook page go up 500%.

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