WACO, TX (KWTX/CNN) – If you saw someone tied up in the back of a truck, would you call the cops?
A tailgate decal depicting just that is creating quite a controversy surrounding that question.
On the surface, it looks like a woman is tied up the back of a truck casually driving down the road. In actuality, it's an optical illusion created by Hornet Signs in Waco.
"I wasn't expecting the reactions we got, nor is it anything we really condone," Brad Cobb, who owns Hornet Signs, said. "It was just something we had to put out there to see who notices it."
Hornet Signs specializes in car wrap advertising, which led the company to experiment with tailgate decals depicting startling images, including a sniper and zombie, but it is the kidnapped woman who, at first glance, appears to be tied up in the truck's bed that garnered the most attention.
"When you're going to put a wrap on the side of your vehicle, you want that image to be realistic and portray the image of your company," Cobb said. "It wasn't our intent to make that the branding of our company, but more of what could we do with it?"
The woman in the picture is an employee of Hornet Signs who volunteered to be tied up and photographed for the decal. She's blonde and facing the viewer, but her face is obscured by her hair. The decal was then affixed to the tailgate of another employee's truck.
"It was an experiment for us and something that was short term, so I was really shocked at how much traffic it did drive," Cobb said.
Almost all of which has been negative.
But, as the old saying goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity. Cobb said the controversy has led to a significant increase in Hornet Signs' business.