The billboard by ArrangementFinders.com features porn star Bree Olson next to the caption, "Need a Summer Job? Date a SUGAR DADDY."
Women can post free notices on the website to meet men who pay $49 to $79 monthly in hopes of developing "mutually beneficial relationships," A.J. Perkins, the company's chief marketing officer, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ( http://bit.ly/1aYWCMI).
The company's ads have drawn ire, most notably in Chicago where a similar billboard made a reference to oral sex. The site's slogan is "Intimacy with a Twist," with a dollar sign replacing the "s."
"We wanted to make is humorous," Perkins said of the Chicago billboard.
State police Cpl. Raymond Schafer, who works for a western Pennsylvania vice squad, confirmed the ads are legal because, as Perkins contends, they don't include a direct offer of money for sex.
"You can pay for companionship," Schafer said. "Until money exchanges for a sexual favor, that's when it becomes illegal."
Some people don't think it's funny—or appropriate—either way.
Amy Parker, executive director of Strong Women, Strong Girls Pittsburgh—a mentoring program on five university campuses in the city—said the billboard conveys a "terrible message.
"It preys on young women who are about to be potentially financially vulnerable and may not have gained the strength to see the danger in this," Parker said.
Perkins said Pittsburgh was targeted because of the potential for college-aged women to respond to the website, which has about 8,000 members within 25 miles of the city. The site has 2.1 million members nationwide. The company will monitor whether the billboard increases its local membership after about 30 days.
Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com