Recently, an interesting clash of ideas set off a cultural and religious war in Manhattan. A truly tasteless (and thoughtless) billboard for Wodka vodka blared: “CHRISTMAS QUALITY, HANUKKAH PRICING!” What were they thinking, indeed?
As completely understandable, and expected, a number of people took offense. The Anti-Defamation League called it “crude and offensive” and said that it reinforced anti-Semitic stereotypes.
“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 Anti-Defamation League’s New York Director Ron Meier told CBS.
Here is the company’s astounding response: “The inspiration for Hanukkah’s inclusion was anything but anti-Semitic—in fact, we’re likening ourselves to the Jewish holiday,” said Brian Gordon of Miami MG in a statement. “Simply put, Hanukkah represents a better value because you get 8 nights for the price of 1—much like Wodka, more for less.… Hopefully this response will help re-focus you on all of the serious places where anti-Semitism does exist—however it doesn’t exist anywhere in our marketing.” The ad was down Tuesday at 4 p.m., CBS reported.