Holiday Hate

Did a Hanukkah flier contain an anti-Semitic message?

Claim:   A holiday shopping flier included an anti-Semitic message.

Status:   True.

Origins:   Legends involving furtive images or messages supposedly sneaked into packaging and advertising as subversive jokes are plentiful. Many of them are false, but finding one that's true is, in this case, unfortunately distressing.

According to a news report from NBC affiliate KXAS-TV in Dallas/Ft. Worth, a holiday shopping flier for a "Party City" store, which was supposed to feature Hanukkah items, included the disturbing message "CC Hates the Jews" printed in bold letters across a large blue-and-white Hanukkah banner spread over two pages.

KXAS-TV reported that ADVO, the company that printed the advertisement, said a graphic artist working on the flier had stepped away from his desk, and while he was gone a co-worker with the initials C.C. altered the banner's text. Neither the artist nor anyone else noticed the change, and the flier went to print — and was distributed to thousands of homes in north Texas — with the hurtful message intact. Why the error was not caught remains a subject of investigation.

Last updated:   6 September 2007

  Sources Sources:
    KXAS-TV [Dallas].   "Holiday Ad Has Hidden Hate Message."
    11 December 2003.

founded in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.