Jun 8, 2022 - News

The Corey Tower is the country's tallest Twitter account

A trio of images of a chimney and video screen with complaints about company products and policies and a sign exclaiming "tequila"
Photos: Courtesy of Dustin Chambers

The Corey Tower is one of Atlanta’s most quizzical landmarks: a defunct 300-foot-tall steam plant facility standing over the Downtown Connector.

  • The structure has also become one man’s megaphone to the world.

Driving the news: Owned by local advertising entrepreneur and rabble-rouser Bill Corey, the highly visible structure — it’s seen by 1 million people a day, Corey’s company says — has been broadcasting disappointment with products and policies.

Of note: When Corey announced plans to add an 80-foot-by-25-foot screen in 2013, he told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that the smokestack would become a landmark on par with “the Statue of Liberty. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The Space Needle in Seattle.”

Catch up quick: For years, the screen has welcomed presidents, mourned dignitaries, and showed solidarity after tragedies. For the past few months, observers like Atlanta photographer Dustin Chambers have spotted messages critiquing companies.

  • They’re usually accompanied by the big red universal “no” symbol and an emoji man giving the ole thumbs down, according to photos shared with Axios Atlanta by Chambers.

Recently, the video screen displayed anger over outdoor retailer REI’s return policy. Before that motorists, MARTA riders, and pedestrians saw signs calling Cummins' Onan Generator a "rip-off.”

  • We’ve been treated to a message proclaiming joy about tequila. Or suggestions to “simplify!”

What they’re saying: In January, your Axios Atlanta scribes asked Corey executives if someone purchased the screen time for the ad about the generators.

  • “The Corey Tower is not available for daily rental,” Nasha Sanders of Corey told us. “Mr. Corey put the ad up based on his personal frustration in dealing with Cummins Onan."

We recently asked the company if these customer service complaints had resulted in any customer service justice and about the creative process behind the messages. Sanders passed along our request to the appropriate folks but we’ve yet to hear back.

Thomas’ thought bubble: I’m all for holding corporate America accountable, so props to Corey for taking the old-fashioned Twitter mention to the next level. And I guess if I owned a tower I’d put it to use in some way.

  • And maybe one day he’ll put our logo high on the smokestack for all of metro Atlanta to see. 😊
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