Members of the Irish community have been enraged over the return of Alec Bradley’s green cigar known as the “Irish Hooligan” in the run up to St Patrick’s Day.
A social networking campaign against the company to prevent further anti-Irish branding from occurring has been established. The Facebook campaign is calling for support to put an end to the stereotypical packaging and branding.
“Say NO to Alec Bradley and JR cigars Anti Irish Bigotry” is the message being sent to the tobacco company.
The campaign group are calling on supporters to engage across social media and voice their disgust at the product to Alec Bradley and JR cigars.
Organiser John Howley says “When I sent JR an email objecting to the slanderous ethnic stereotypes in their ad, they replied that everyone has a different “sense of humour” and “you can’t win with everyone all of the time”. Fulbright Gaelic scholar Ed Shevlin of Rockaway, Queens is also helping lead the boycott and intends to personally picket stores.
He stated: We would never expect to see cigars denigrating, Jews, Hispanics, African Americans, Gays, or any other group, especially just in time for their holiday. Why is it ok for Alec Bradley Cigars to slam us now as we prepare to celebrate St Patrick's month?
Recently a similar issue arose with Bed,Bath & Beyond. The national homeware chain had to apologize to the Irish community and confirmed that products that were offensive to the Irish would be removed from their Christmas Tree stores. These items were deemed insulting toward customers of Irish heritage.
The move came after IrishCentral, and sister publication Irish Voice, reported that the Ancient Order of Hibernians, America’s largest Irish group, had protested that many items they carried in their Christmas Tree stores insulted the Irish.
The Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan campaign is “equally as offensive as the chain of products” which were on sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond claim campaigners against the sale of the cigars.
Boycott organizers released a statemetn saying "Here they are, in all their insulting glory, "Filthy Hooligan" cigars by Alec Bradley. To be released just in time for St Patricks Day! Go to AlecBradley.com and let them know what you think. Also go to the distributor JR Cigar at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them you won't stand for anti-Irish bigotry!"