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A billboard showing a scantily clad woman being massaged by male hands will undergo a sex change, a southern Utah health resort developer says, to avoid offending women in a nearby community.

"I don't agree with" residents who find the advertisement offensive, "but we are taking steps to remove it," said Alan Coombs of Green Valley resort, southwest of St. George. "We will have a sign with a man getting a back rub."The controversy began earlier this month when the 8-by-24-foot billboard went up on Sunset Boulevard, west of St. George. Patrice Hunt of neighboring Santa Clara organized the grassroots protest.

The billboard features a bare-backed woman with a masseur's hands on her lower back.

"The women of Santa Clara find that offensive that a woman takes her clothes off to take a massage. Of course, you can't take a massage with your clothes on," Coombs said. But, "rather than offend those nice ladies out there, we will change it to a man."

Although, admittedly not obscene, Hunt calls the billboard "very suggestive and inappropriate and we find this sign offensive."

She contends, because of the family orientation of local residents, the sign is turning away rather than attracting people to the resort it promotes.

"If they feel like wanting to promote the massage part of the resort, why not have a male model?" Hunt said. "It is much less offensive to see a man getting a back rub."

"The placement of the masseur's hands is very important. Why not on her shoulders? Why does it have to be close to the rear end?," she said.