A billboard that debuted in Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 28 is stirring up major controversy. The ad is for SnoreStop, a company that makes nasal sprays, oral sprays and pills to help stop snoring. It features a couple and is intended to promote the product as a way for couples to sleep soundly together.
The ad, which features the phrase “#betogether” and the slogan “SnoreStop, keeping you together,” depicts a Caucasian United States soldier and a Muslim woman embracing. The man and woman featured are in fact a real couple, yet viewers of the ad are claiming it is “a slap to the face of our military” and “racist.”
“We wanted to find locations that would grab people’s attention. SnoreStop is a product for couples, and we want to show couples that you normally don’t see in advertising,” said Melody Davermark, spokeswoman for SnoreStop.
Personally, I do not think the ad is racist at all, but it has certainly turned some heads. The SnoreStop ad never suggests that the Muslim woman is a “terrorist” or even “anti-American,” but placing a Muslim woman next to a man in uniform has caused many to take a second look.
According to SnoreStop, the attention the ad is gaining was the initial goal. They wanted to catch the attention of the public by featuring a couple that audiences are not used to seeing. By stepping outside the norm, SnoreStop generated much buzz and prompted conversation about breaking stereotypes. The company is planning to expand the campaign to an additional 20 cities in the near future.
By Becca Williams
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.