- (Photo: Dave Jamieson)
Yesterday we received a tip from Laura, who asked that we investigate what she described as an “obnoxious” marketing gimmick perpetrated by MasterCard at the Farragut West Metro stop.
Residing at the 18th Street NW entrance, Laura wrote, was “a giant ugly I don’t know what it is (like a dumbbell or pin or something)” that was apparently gumming up the works as Metro riders spilled off the escalator and onto the sidewalk. This thing, she went on, “has made an already clusterf*ck morning experience even crazier.” Laura said she would understand if we didn’t bother checking it out, since we surely have bigger issues to wrestle with.
Come on, Laura. This is a blog!
The object in question is indeed a dumbbell, and a giant one at that, as the picture above (taken today) demonstrates. As Laura told us, people certainly do stop to gawk at it during rush hour, in a manner that could create an unpleasant little bottleneck near the escalator. A placard affixed to the dumbbell, with the MasterCard and SunTrust logos on it, reads:
sporting goods: 30% off
overwhelming strength: priceless
Did you know that MasterCard was still milking that ad format?
Metro spokesman Reggie Woodruff said he hadn’t heard anything about the dumbbell, though he added, “We probably will.” As Woodruff explained, Metro isn’t responsible for what happens on the property adjacent to their entrances. That falls to the property owners and managers.
We put in a call to the folks at the Pret a Manger deli, whose storefront now looks like a Gold’s Gym during a spring promotion. When we asked the employee who answered the phone who put the dumbbell there, he responded, “I’m calling the property manager myself to find out.”
Has Pret a Manger been getting complaints about it? “Only from me.”
We’ll update when we learn more. In the meantime, if you’re annoyed by this dumbbell, we don’t recommend trying to move it. It’s really, really heavy, even for a giant dumbbell.