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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bronx community want vodka billboard taken down

Bronx community leaders want this Wodka vodka billboard in Hunts Point taken down.

Bronx community leaders are decrying a crass billboard hawking vodka that greets drivers near an area once synonymous with prostitution.

Aiming to convey that Wódka vodka is top-notch and cheap, the sign over the Bruckner Expressway in Hunts Point reads: “Escort Quality, Hooker Pricing.”

The analogy did not amuse members of the Bronx’s Community Board 2, who have been battling for a decade to revamp Hunts Points reputation as a place to pick up hookers.

When I saw it I almost fell out of my seat,” said Rafael Salamanca Jr., district manager for CB 2. “That’s an inappropriate billboard given what the Hunts Point community has gone through in the past.”

The creators of the ad stood by it, but said they’d be responsive to feedback.

“Listen, if it’s offensive it’s because the topic is offensive to people and we understand that,” said Brian Gordon, managing partner for Wódka’s marketing company, MMG. Wódka drew fire from the Anti-Defamation League in November with its “Christmas Quality, Hanukkah Pricing” billboard.

CB 2 Chairman Ian Amritt called on the owners of the billboard, Van Wagner, to take down the sign.

A Van Wagner lawyer said, “We have reached out to our advertiser to see whether we can remedy the situation”

Vodka Billboard Removed:

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