Sometimes, it’s not okay to advertise with jokes about violence against women. One company just learned as much the hard way. (Some might even say they learned it in a way that’s as hard as a rock hitting young, female skin.)
The folks behind Spicer-Greene Jewelers in Asheville have a history of billboard creativity. Back in 2015, when an Asheville billboard appeared to host a hopeless romantic’s marriage proposal, it was actually a stealth ad for the company, then still called Wick & Greene. The latest outdoor advertising venture from this crew is not quite as clever, though. It simply shows a handful of sparkly gems hovering near the caption, “Sometimes, it’s okay to throw rocks at girls.” You know, like stoning them to death? A real thing that still happens.
Maybe it’s the way the word ‘sometimes’ is in a smaller font on a separate line, emphasizing the “IT’S OKAY TO THROW ROCKS AT GIRLS” part. Or maybe it’s the underlying suggestion that, in a post-Trump world, common-decency-masquerading-as-political-correctness is no longer around to prevent people from making light of violence against women. Either way, something about this misguided billboard inspired people in droves to decry it on Twitter–so much so, that the company ended up issuing an apology on Facebook.
It remains to be seen, however, whether Spicer-Greene will be removing the billboard. In fact, there’s a solid chance the company intentionally provoked an outrage response, which this very post would be guilty of perpetrating. The most notorious jewelry store in Asheville, after all, would still be the most well known. It’s a strategy that decidedly does not rock.