A billboard promoting an Alberta oilfield services company near the town of Killam has been changed amidst controversy.

The sign – promoting BeDevil Enterprises – previously displayed a nearly nude woman surrounded by flames lying beside a piledriver.

The owner of the company had said the billboard - which read "We drill them to Hell and Back" - was meant to display how hard the company works and the owner explained the female figure was a "devil".

Online critics called the billboard “misogynistic” and some said the image promoted violence against women.

On Friday afternoon, the billboard's controversial female image was removed.

Earlier in the day, BeDevil owner Dan McRae said he was directed to take the billboard down by 6:30 p.m. Friday. He did not disclose where the directive came from.

With files from David Ewasuk