A JCPenney billboard ad for a tea kettle has been taken down in California after people complained that it bore a strange resemblance to Adolf Hitler.
JCPenney's billboard ad for the Michael Graves-designed "Bells and Whistles Stainless Steel Tea Kettle" along the 405 Freeway in Culver City, Calif., first generated buzz on social news site Reddit, with users claiming the kettle looked like a cartoon version of the Nazi leader Hitler.
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They argued that the curvature of the handle was similar to Hitler's hairline, the top on the lid could be his infamous mustache, and the spout vaguely resembled a hand out in salute.
"I'm a little Nazi, short and stout,"
one Reddit user commented.
Others claimed JCPenney, which saw a 16 percent year-over-year drop in sales earlier this month, intentionally made its ad controversial so as to spark public interest.
"Well, look at us — we're all looking at and sharing a picture of an advertisement," user LevTolstoy wrote. "If it was done on purpose to get people's attention… it's brilliant."
But JCPenney has denied that the resemblance was intentional, and the company pulled the billboard earlier this week.
The tea kettle has also already inspired a T-shirt design on CafePress.com called "Mein Kettle."
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