Another month, another controversial North Carolina billboard.
Last month it was the infamous “Real men provide. Real women appreciate it” sign that stirred passions and protests.
This month it’s a message from an Asheville jewelry store.
“Sometimes it’s OK to throw rocks at girls,” reads the billboard, visible along I-240 near downtown. The sign features bright gemstones in multiple colors on a white background.
The billboard, from Spicer Greene Jewelers, went up last week and got immediate blowback on social media.
One tweet asks Spicer Greene if alluding to violence against women was something to joke about.
“(I)s this supposed to be humorous because you think violence against women is funny? do better. be better. #notbuyingit,” reads the tweet from Kim Kelley.
‘Something we did not intend’
“The billboard was intended to be a nostalgic thought of a childhood teaching,” store owner Eva-Michelle Spicer told CNN affiliate 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.”
The idea for the billboard was born during the family’s Thanksgiving dinner last fall.
Spicer Greene has apologized on social media — “our billboard communicated something we did not intend” — and is planning to replace the message on the sign with another advertising campaign soon.
Of course, there’s a backlash to the backlash, with several people commenting on Spicer Greene’s Facebook page that they thought the billboard was funny and cited the controversy as yet another example of political correctness run amok.
“I think that your advertising was very clever,” commenter Bill Newton wrote. “I also feel that it is so very sad that people always look to the dark side of everything. We really have become a ” Society of the Perpetually Offended.”
The store told WLOS that it will donate 10% of its sales from last week to a local domestic violence shelter.