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Vodka Billboard Referencing Christmas and Hanukkah Pulled

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By Matthew Cortina, Christian Post Reporter
November 23, 2011|4:18 pm

A billboard advertising a brand of vodka in New York City was pulled after claims from Jewish groups that it was anti-Semitic.

The billboard for Wodka vodka advertised “Christmas quality” vodka at “Hanukkah pricing.”

The billboard featured the images of a long-haired dog wearing a yarmulke and a second dog wearing Santa garb.

Advocacy groups say the billboard – which has since been destroyed – promotes negative stereotypes.

"To use the Jewish holiday in dealing with issues of money is clearly insensitive and inappropriate," Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Ron Meier told the New York Times.

"In a crude and offensive way of trying to make a point that their vodka is high quality and inexpensive, the billboards evoke a Jewish holiday to imply something that is cheap and of lesser value when compared to the higher value of a Christian holiday," Meier said in a press release.

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The advertising company behind the billboard, MMG, says the Christmas ad is just one of several in the provocative Wodka campaign.

"We thought people would perceive it as 'ha ha quirky.' But people perceived it as offensive, and because of that, we pulled it,” said MMG director Brian Gordon to the Times.

The campaign also includes an ad claiming the vodka is “Hamptons quality. Newark pricing.” Another reads, “Escort quality. Hooker pricing,” and has a picture of a lamb with a sombrero next to a bottle of Wodka.

Gordon, who is Jewish, said he didn’t mean to offend anyone by the campaign, but hoped to promote the product in a clever, tongue-in-cheek manner.

"Although rarely serious, we apologize to anyone we may have offended through our holiday campaign and are removing our billboard immediately," Wodka wrote through their Twitter account.

The campaign employs a quirky style, hoping to generate buzz for the product through irreverence and absurdity.

 

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