#TBT: The Maker’s Mark Billboard That Poked Fun at Andersen’s Demise

This billboard is a work of genius. Yes, Maker's Mark is a mass-produced bourbon, but in a pinch, it does go down easy.

The story behind this billboard is a little muddy but apparently, back in 2002 when this billboard appears, the AICPA was NOT amused by it and convinced Maker's Mark to pull it. Here's an old AccountingWEB post explaining what happened:

The Electronic Accountant [link redirects to Accounting Today] is reporting that the Kentucky distillery Maker's Mark, has agreed to remove billboards depicting the troubles currently facing the accounting profession. The billboards, showing a bourbon bottle turned over on its side, read, "Disappears faster than a Big Five accounting firm."
 
The billboards appear in Colorado and several other states, and all of them will be removed, according to a spokesman from Maker's Mark. "It was an error," stated the spokesman, who claimed the decision to use the billboards was made while he was on vacation.

Geoff Pickard of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants told the editor of Electronic Accountant that the billboards will be removed. "We talked with Maker's Mark through an emissary, and the company said it didn’t want to offend the [accounting] profession and was happy to take them all down."

Accountants? Thin-skinned? Knock me over with a feather.

I managed to find this post that says one billboard, "briefly hung over 85-South, […] Within days the text was backed out – no doubt by Anderson [sic] apologists."  

I wrote an email to the AICPA to see what they know about this version of events and any other background but in the meantime, let's just appreciate this.

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Related articles

Accountants Behaving Badly: Jail Time for Filing False Tax Returns, and BDO Malawi Given Stiff Fine

Plus, accountants in India got into trouble for fraud, duping investors, and forgery, while an accountant in Australia was charged for allegedly defrauding a business out of $200,000. Delaware County business owner sentenced to 4+ years in prison for stealing funds from clients, filing false forms with the IRS [Justice Department] Accountant Myles Hannigan was […]

Friday Footnotes: PwC Runs to Supreme Court; Accounting Firm Hacked; CFO Accused of Fraud Shares His Story | 2.21.20

U.S. House Subcommittee Scrutinizes Accounting Rule Maker [Wall Street Journal] The new chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets is targeting U.S. accounting rules in a move to increase oversight of a U.S. accounting rule maker, despite a potential battle to enact legislation or alter its […]