A jewelry boutique in North Carolina thought domestic violence against women would be a great marketing ploy to sell diamonds, thanks to the advice of a 60-year old aunt and an 87-year old grandmother. After a lively Thanksgiving dinner, co-owners Elliot and Eva-Michelle Spicer of Spicer Greene jewelers in Asheville decided it was a good idea to run a giant billboard that reads "Sometimes, it's okay to throw rocks at women," inferring that tossing a store-bought diamond at a woman's head, she'll be okay with it. And yeah, people are pissed.
There were a a dozen protestors outside of the shop on Sunday, and everyone from your average outraged tweeter to Chelsea Clinton has expressed disdain for the shop's unsettling slogan. Several signs at the read "I love jewels, not rocks thrown at me," and "Violent words lead to violence. Don't shop here." Clinton tweeted:"Talking about hitting girls is never funny. Ever." And she's right: It's not. But, unfortunately, this isn't the first time the ridiculous phrase misguidedly used to sell baubles has come under fire. In fact, it was trademarked by Michigan-based Sawyer Jewelers, Inc. in 2016.
Spicer Greene posted an apology to its Facebook page, stating that the retailer "didn't mean any harm" by the billboard, but the message left it unclear if the incriminating signage would be taking it down anytime soon. Additionally, Spicer vowed to donate 10% of Sunday's sales to a local shelter for victims of domestic violence. "To whom we have offended with our recent billboard, please accept our apologies. We do not condone violence of any kind toward any being. We are humble enough to realize when we make a mistake and humble enough to realize the context in which we are speaking. We did not intend to cause controversy and our billboard communicated something we did not intend. We intended the billboard as a play on words to encourage the loving act of gift giving and are deeply saddened that it offended anyone."
Imagine if all diamonds were given by throwing them at someone. Doesn't that sound loving? Unfortunately, most of the comments on Spicer Greene's apology are in support of the brand's billboard, urging the co-owners not to bend to the will of "the crazy people that protest it." One woman even claims to love having rocks thrown at her, and that Spicer Greene will be the first stop on her next shopping excursion. Wherever you stand regarding this billboard, one thing's for sure: domestic violence is not okay. And we're confident that Spicer Greene can come up with a better way to sell their products.