The U.S.-based JC Penney’s department store recently came under fire for selling a teapot which some claimed resembles Adolf Hitler, but which nevertheless sold out quickly.
The controversy started over Memorial Day weekend, when a Southern California commuter posted a photo of a Culver City JC Penney billboard onto Reddit, a social news site.
The man claimed that when blurred, the photo of the teapot resembled Hitler. Fellow Reddit users agreed, one writing, “I thought it was supposed to be Hitler until I read the title. It's easier to see Hitler than the kettle.”
Another joked, “You have a lot of choices when it comes to kettles, JCPenney would like you to make the reich choice.”
The users said that the kettle’s handle resembles Hitler’s side hair part, the lid looks like his moustache and the spout resembles a Nazi salute.
The ad promoted the Bells and Whistles Stainless Steel Tea Kettle, which is part of designer Michael Graves’ line.
Before JC Penney responded to complaints about the product, the kettle quickly sold out on jcpenney.com. The retailer later explained over Twitter that the teakettle’s resemblance to the man responsible for the Holocaust was unintentional.
“If we had designed it to look like something, we would have gone with a snowman or something fun :) ,” the company tweeted.