A Los Angeles billboard portraying a U.S. solder and a Muslim woman as a couple has tongues wagging across the country, especially because many don’t understand the ad’s connection to the sleep aids it’s selling.
The SnoreStop ad is meant to suggest its sleep aid products can keep couples together. The billboard features the hashtag, #betogether, and the slogan, “Keeping you together.”
“We want to show couples that you normally don’t see in advertising,” SnoreStop spokeswoman Melody Devemark told CBS Los Angeles. “People feel that we are trying to misuse the image of military servicemen. I think they don’t understand that there are couples like this that do exist.”
The ad has sparked positive and negative reactions on social media, prompting the U.S. soldier pictured on the billboard to speak out.
“I did this because I am no stranger to other people’s discrimination,” the soldier, Paul Evans, wrote in a Facebook post, according to Fox 5.
The company is planning billboards in 20 more cities across the country, including Houston, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; and New York City, CBS Los Angeles reported.