A billboard for a North Carolina jewelry store has come under fire because some people think it encourages violence.
Spicer Greene Jewelers thought their sign was a simple “play on words” but in the current easily offended climate, it ended up sparking a backlash, according to WLOS-TV.
“Sometimes, It’s ok to throw rocks at girls…,” read the sign, which included photos of gemstones, or “rocks.”
The Asheville store advertised on the billboard at a high traffic area near Interstate 240 and caught the attention of many who criticized it.
No but it’s ok to throw rocks at whoever approved this billboard. pic.twitter.com/9pd3Rj9mu8
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) March 23, 2017
@OhNoSheTwitnt @SpicerGreene This is unbelievable. It’s not clever. It’s not great use of humor in marketing. It’s a mistake. #removeit
— Victoria Berry (@berryvic) March 23, 2017
@SpicerGreene normalizing violence against women is not ok. “oh he beat you up because he likes you sweetie” is NOT ok.
— KJ (@Pipsquak88) March 24, 2017
Even Chelsea Clinton found a moment to be offended and weighed in with a tweet.
Talking about hitting girls is never funny. Ever. https://t.co/cvtxykutis
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) March 24, 2017
Ellen Perry, a teacher at UNCA and AB Tech, told WLOS she was planning a protest outside the store and would continue protesting until the sign is removed.
Spicer Greene Jewelers responded to the outrage with an apology on Facebook.
“We did not intend to cause controversy and our billboard communicated something we did not intend,” the business said.
To whom we have offended with our recent billboard, please accept our #apologies. Please read full comment below. @SpicerGreene #Jewelers. pic.twitter.com/kADpNhnEF6
— Spicer Greene (@SpicerGreene) March 24, 2017
Eva-Michelle Spicer, 28, and her husband Elliott, 27, took over the store, which has been in operation since 1926, four years ago.
“The billboard was intent to be a nostalgic thought of a childhood teaching,” Eva-Michelle Spicer said, according to WLOS. “That it’s not ok to throw rocks at girls, it’s not ok to throw rocks at anyone… It saddens me that it was taken that way, because it certainly wasn’t intended.”
Ironically, Spicer is a member of Women for Women, an organization that aims to “improve the lives of women and girls through women’s collective giving.” She has even fund-raised for Our Voice, an Asheville based crisis intervention and prevention agency that helps victims of sexual abuse.
Spicer announced that the store will donate 10% of sales through Sunday to Helpmate because “domestic violence and rape culture is not something to be taken lightly at all,”
Despite the apology from the business, many remained offended and called for the sign to be removed, which the owners plan to do with the next advertising campaign that was scheduled to begin in a few weeks.
In the meantime, countless Twitter users defended the sign and advised others to lighten up.
@qwertypam @OhNoSheTwitnt @SpicerGreene It’s not offensive it’s funny. Relax people.
— Greg Canci (@ArtieMacfarley) March 25, 2017
@OhNoSheTwitnt Oh, lighten up a bit, it’s a play on words. If we continue further down this path, everything will end up being risqué…
— Stein Bagger (@stein_bagger) March 23, 2017
@OhNoSheTwitnt OH pulEEEEEEZE it is funny and smart. Libs are the Perpetually Offended. I made it to 67 with ZERO LIB PC and am happy
— Deborah G Flynn (@Dealerdeb1) March 24, 2017
@SpicerGreene Don’t apologize and don’t remove it. Geez.
— Jonathan Yarbrough (@JWYarbrough) March 24, 2017
@SpicerGreene doesn’t matter what you put up, some group will be offended nowadays…
— Steve (@sjdez21) March 24, 2017
@SpicerGreene no need to apologize, I thought it was hilarious. It’s obviously not meant to glorify abuse or violence.
— Selina (@Selina_Burrell) March 24, 2017
Ppl mad about billboard R the ppl that can’t afford 2 have ‘stones’ thrown at them! They aren’t ur clientele, anyway- KEEP IT @SpicerGreene
— Guinevere Vandervoss (@mychaoticbrain) March 24, 2017
@SpicerGreene Don’t bow to the feminists terrorists!!!! The ad was brilliant and my wife liked it.
— word_up_guy (@word_up_guy) March 24, 2017
@OhNoSheTwitnt …doesn’t know that “rock” is slang for jewelry….need better schools obviously….
— Todd Vance (@tdvance) March 25, 2017
@OhNoSheTwitnt soo stupid it’s meant to be silly not offensive America’s turned into a bunch of crying baby’s get real
— yella_bear (@yella_bear) March 25, 2017
@SpicerGreene It’s an awesome billboard. Remember the old saying that boys would throw rocks at the girls they like. Now they can throw gems
— Kimberly Dawkins (@Aldorine203) March 24, 2017
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