Here's the story behind those buttcrack billboards [IMAGE]

Seen one of those buttcrack billboards while driving around the Twin Cities?

Love 'em or hate 'em, if you have, you probably remember it -- and as a Minnesota Department of Health official told us, that's the whole point.

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Man-shaming pro-life billboard towers over south Minneapolis intersection [PHOTO]

"We saw some dialogue posted on Facebook where the first response was from a colon cancer survivor who was expressing concerns about our insensitivity," Jonathan Slater, chief of the MDH's cancer control section, says. "But his friends were responding to the post, and by the end he was saying, 'Hey, we're all talking about it and that's a good thing... if people were talking about it before I wouldn't be a stage 3 cancer survivor.'"

So in other words, even responses of this sort aren't necessarily a bad thing as far as the MDH is concerned:
-- Carl Atiya Swanson (@catiyas) April 8, 2014 Slater said there are roughly nine buttcrack billboards up around the Twin Cities, with rates ranging from $500 to $5,000 per month depending on each one's specific location.

This is the third year of the MDH's colonoscopy awareness billboard campaign. A similar campaign will soon be rolled out in outstate Minnesota.

Slater said the MDH will introduce some new billboards along the lines of the buttcrack ones in select Twin Cities locations this summer, so keep your eyes peeled.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]