Letter writer: Thank you, Love Town group, for defending the values of our town

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Dear Love Town Group: Thank you for having the bravery to do what I only dreamed of doing [“Welcome to Lovetown” in “The Buzz Around Buncombe,” April 8, Xpress]. Every time I passed that insult of a billboard, I threw paint balloons at it in my mind.

Thanks for your anger, for your action and for defending the values of our town. If we are given a label, let it begin with LOVE.

— Chelsea Lynn La Bate
Asheville

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4 thoughts on “Letter writer: Thank you, Love Town group, for defending the values of our town

  1. VAL

    Values of our town?? VALUES OF OUR TOWN??? This is the most “for sale” town I’ve ever lived in; and I’ve lived in every corner of this country (and then some)…. Something everything EVERY retiree has EVERY said to me is; “NOBODY in Asheville wants to talk to you unless you have money.” Anyone who moves here under the LURE of HAPPY HIPPYS who fart pixie dust, regrets this town FAST! VALUE…. YA; an overpriced value meal, whom few can afford to supersize

  2. Wednesday Afternoon

    So the letter writer gets to decide what the “values” for all of Asheville are? I guess her values don’t include respect for private property. I do not like that billboard either but cannot condone anyone taking it upon themselves to vandalize someone else’s property.

    Grow up.

  3. Love Town

    You’re very welcome. Since we transformed the billboard “Welcome to PepsiTown” into “Welcome to LoveTown” on April 1st, countless people have driven by it. By the reactions we’ve seen on FaceBook, the vast majority loved the change and for months resented the claim that Asheville was “PepsiTown”. Others have expressed that it was vandalism and unjustified.

    We believe that this act was justified given the larger offense of a corporation claiming this town and sticking this offensive and unmerited claim in the face of thousands of people each day.

    Apparently the local Pepsi representatives “got the memo” that their “PepsiTown” billboard was offending thousands and generating more resentment than love. So as of yesterday, a new billboard sign sponsored by Pepsi is up and reads “Love Asheville” with the Pepsi logo creating the “O” in love.

    Some feel that Pepsi is now co-opting love itself. But we feel it’s a dramatic improvement over “Welcome to Pepsi Town”. Our original press release (see below) encouraged Pepsi to keep the love on the sign and to their credit they did. They also gave Love and Asheville top billing on the sign with their logo and brand ego in the background.

    Frankly, we just might go buy a bottle and toast Pepsi for evolving their message, even if we are aware of how dangerous high fructose corn syrup is :-)

    Now maybe we’re pushing our luck, but to truly live the love we encourage Pepsi to eliminate the use of high fructose corn syrup, which is a know health hazard, and substitute the natural plant sweetener known as “stevia”. From what we’ve read Coke is exploring doing this with some of its soda line.

    Ultimately all corporations have to be responsive to the wishes of their customers or loose sales. Voting consciously with our dollars is perhaps our strongest vote.

    Original April 1st 2015 Press Release to local media:

    Subject – Breaking News – Asheville transformed from “PepsiTown” to “LoveTown”.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1st, 2015

    Have you noticed the giant billboard just West of downtown Asheville on HWY 240 declaring Asheville to be “PepsiTown”? If so, maybe you, like thousands of others, have wondered what gave a corporation the right to declare Asheville their town?

    Last night, we who love Asheville, transformed “Welcome to PepsiTown” into “Welcome to LoveTown” by writing Love on top of Pepsi on the Pepsi billboard. We expect that as hundreds of people drive into Asheville today, they will experience a heartfelt smile knowing that they are driving into the town they love.

    It may be April fools day, but we’re not joking when it comes to keeping the heart and soul of Asheville alive and free from being owned.

    We love the mountains, the rivers, the magic and the heartfelt people of Asheville. So, if this town is to be described in one word, we believe that love is a more fitting description than Pepsi.

    To Pepsi we suggest keeping the love and smiles alive by continuing to sponsor this “LoveTown” billboard. After all, can’t love and Pepsi coexist? The whole town will know that you’re behind it (actually underneath it). We can all appreciate a company run by people who know in their hearts that love is the “Real Thing” over and above any brand or product.

    We invite residents of Asheville to contact Pepsi and encourage them to continue to keep the Love in this town and on the billboard. You can email their media relations office at mediarelations@pepsico.com

    Keep drinking in the love Asheville. We love you!

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