A New York City billboard advertising “Christmas Quality” vodka at “Hanukkah Pricing” will be taken down by the company, after it received numerous complaints that its pitch portrayed Jews as cheap and associated with poor quality.
The Wódka vodka ad displayed on West Side Highway featured a Chihuahua wearing a santa cap and an Afghan hound wearing a velvet yarmulke, with the words “Christmas Quality, Hanukkah Pricing” and “Great Vodka. Priced Right”.
The creative designer of the ad campaign, Brian Gordan, told CNN news that he is Jewish, and that his intention was to portray Hanukkah as an “understated” holiday, rather than a lesser one, a holiday in which you get eight nights of celebration rather than one, a holiday which is just as good as Christmas “with less pomp and circumstance”. He said the ads were not intended to be offensive or upsetting, and will be taken down at the behest of consumers.
The Anti-Defamation League lambasted the ad as “crude and offensive”, “insensitive and inappropriate”, and one which “reinforces anti-Semitic stereotypes”.
Wódka frequently uses humor in its advertisements, such as its “Hamptons Quality. Newark Pricing” ad for the same product.
Wódka issued a public statement apologizing and promising to remove the ad.
About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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