Update: The company announced via its Twitter feed that it was apologizing and removing the billboards. More
New York, NY, November 22, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the company responsible for a series of billboards in New York promoting discounted Vodka with the message "Christmas Quality, Hanukkah Pricing" to remove the ad, which it said was "crude and offensive" and "reinforces anti-Semitic stereotypes."
The sales pitch for Wódka vodka features the image of two dogs, one wearing a Santa hat, the other wearing a yarmulke with the message spelled out in large, capital letters.
"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," said Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director. "Particularly with the long history of anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money, with the age-old notion that Jews are cheap, to use the Jewish holiday in dealing with issues of money is clearly insensitive and inappropriate."
The billboards for Wódka vodka, which have appeared in several locations in New York, including one at a well-traveled location along the West Side Highway, have generated a barrage of calls and complaints to ADL in recent days.
The League has expressed its concerns with the marketing company responsible for creating the campaign and is calling on the purveyors of Wódka "to consider a more appropriate message for the holidays."