Puttin' the Wood to 'Em: Truth in Advertising


I was walking along a country road with my friend Ralph Savarese somewhere on the outskirts of Wilmington, Vermont, when Ralph spotted a lumber truck in a furrow among the pines. “Look!” he said. “Now there’s a disgusting advertising slogan!”

On the front of the immense, red truck, right above the grill, was a sign that read: “Puttin’ the Wood to “Em!”

Putting the Wood to 'em

Across the road was a brand new forest clearing which presumably represented the handiwork of this outfit.


Felled trees in Vermont


Puttin’ the wood to ’em…


We wondered who this slogan was intended to attract? Isn’t the nature of advertising to draw customers? Was this an outfit that imagines its clients to be citizens who hate “tree huggers”? Clearly there’s something passive aggressive about the motto. And also something vulgar, patently sexual. Or violent. A semiotic trifecta!


It certainly looked like truth in advertising to me.


Puttin’ the wood to ’em…



0 thoughts on “Puttin' the Wood to 'Em: Truth in Advertising

  1. My thinking is that this is a brand, new sign on this truck — the handiwork of some dim bulb’s BRIGHT NEW IDEA. Consider the reality of it. You work at a lumber processing plant. You’re probably one of those big, macho guys who thrive on pure cholesterol breakfasts. You’ve ordered a truckload of raw lumber, and as the truck rumbles through the gates, you read, “Puttin’ the wood to ’em!” I get giggly just thinking about it.


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