Booze with a splash of anti-Semitism is what Wodka Vodka is serving up this holiday season.
The latest billboard for Wodka — the “cheap, premium vodka” that’s all sorts of questionable — involves a dog in a Santa hat, another dog in a yarmulke, and the following tagline: CHRISTMAS QUALITY, HANUKKAH PRICING. Yes, this is an actual billboard that exists.
Religious stereotyping in liquor ads is just about as bottom of the barrel as you can get, and a brief perusal of the Wodka website shows it’s standard practice for the company. For example, on the site’s contact page, we’re introduced to Wodka “employees” New Delhi Neil (“snake charmer by day and press wrangler by night”) and Sumo Shu (whose photo is the face of a white guy Photoshopped onto a Japanese sumo wrestler’s body).
The Anti-Defamation League has responded to the billboard, via a statement from New York regional director Ron Meier:
“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. 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.”
Take a look at the billboard below. Do you find it offensive?