LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A billboard put up Monday in Hollywood has sparked controversy on social media for its depiction of an American soldier and a Muslim woman.
The advertisement, which includes the simple phrase “#betogether”, is for a company called Snore Stop, which sells nasal sprays, oral sprays and pills aimed at preventing customers from snoring.
The Camarillo-based company says the idea behind the ad is that their product, which has been around for 18 years, keeps marriages together.
“It’s a shock factor…. Trying to shock you into looking at it. But to each their own,” onlooker Jan Clair said.
Company spokeswoman Melody Devemark said she hopes the placement of the billboard on Sunset Boulevard will spark conversation and lead critics to think beyond stereotypes.
“We wanted to find locations that would grab people’s attention. Snore Stop is a product for couples and we want to show couples that you normally don’t see in advertising,” Devemark said.
“People feel that we are trying to misuse the image of military servicemen. I think they don’t understand that there are couples like this that do exist. It’s just that you’re not used to seeing them,” she said.
Snore Stop says the billboard in Hollywood is also just the beginning.
Company executives plan to roll out 20 more in cities across the United States, including in Houston, Salt Lake City and New York City.