Mick Quinn, leaseholder at the Fleming Arms, Ryde, Isle of Wight, has thrown his advertising advice books away after his tongue-in-cheek jokes led to global appreciation and an in-crease in revenue.
He said: "It’s the most effective advertising I’ve ever known, and it’s free. I could never have afforded that kind of advertising.
"The steak night signs weren’t working at all. Now people are coming in to shake my hand, just because of the signs. It’s gone berserk."
Quinn has received calls and emails from around the world, featured in local and national newspapers, and said staff were constantly answering the phone to well-wishers. One fan is even flying over from the US to have his picture taken with the boards.
However, not everyone is so enthusiastic. Hampshire Police received complaints about a sign that read: "Fat people are harder to kidnap. Stay safe, eat lots here". A spokesman confirmed there were two complaints but that "no criminal offences have been identified".
Quinn’s A-boards have also poked fun at feminists, dyslexics, the FIFA football scandal and the Greek bailout saga. They are inspired by conversations with his dad and his customers, some of which "don’t know how funny they are".
"No way is it meant to offend anyone, they aren’t racist or homophobic. It’s tongue-in-cheek," said Quinn, adding that he comes from a family of "so-called comics". "We’ve always had the philosophy of ‘laughter is the best medicine’, which is probably why we lost so many to tuberculosis," he joked.
Quinn said he will not tone down his humour despite the complaints. "I’ve had overwhelming support. Each time the Isle of Wight or the pub is mentioned, it’s good for trade."
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Some of the boards...