Wodka vodka stated on its Twitter feed that it will take down billboards advertising its discounted product with the slogan: Christmas Quality, Hanukkah Pricing. These have been described and criticized as anti-Semitic.
The billboards contained an image of a dog wearing a Santa hat and a dog wearing a yarmulke with the text in large, capital letters. They were located at several locations in New York City, including a well-traveled location along the West Side Highway.
Earlier the Anti-Defamation League had published a release asking for the removal of billboards. ADL Regional Director Ron Meier said the ads were considered crude, offensive and reinforcing anti-Semitic stereotypes.
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.
The ADL, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism.
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, Meier added.
Wodka vodka tweeted: Although rarely serious, we apologize to anyone we may have offended through our holiday campaign and are removing our billboard immediately.