Asheville's controversial 'throw rocks at girls' billboard makes national news

Asheville's controversial 'throw rocks at girls' billboard makes national news. (WLOS)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) - Spicer Greene Jewelers has apologized for a billboard some found offensive, but the controversy made the rounds online nonetheless.

RELATED | Protest planned over jewelry store's controversial billboard

"Sometimes it's OK to throw rocks at girls," reads a billboard visible from Patton Avenue's Jeff Bowen Bridge. Controversy over the ad resulted in massive media attention.

Outlets all over the country (and a few international ones) picked it up as a viral news story:

The owners of Spicer Greene Jewelers, Eva-Michelle Spicer, 28, and her husband Elliott, 27, started running the business about four years ago when Eva-Michelle's parents started to ease themselves out to do more traveling, Eva-Michelle said.

The name changed from Wick & Greene to Spicer Greene last year, when the young couple officially took over.

"The billboard was intent to be a nostalgic thought of a childhood teaching," Eva-Michelle said. "That it's not OK to throw rocks at girls, it's not OK to throw rocks at anyone. It saddens me that it was taken that way, because it certainly wasn't intended."

The downtown Asheville jeweler released this public apology on its Facebook page on Thursday:

To whom we have offended with our recent billboard, please accept our apologies. We do not condone violence of any kind toward any being. We are humble enough to realize when we make a mistake and humble enough to realize the context in which we are speaking. We did not intend to cause controversy and our billboard communicated something we did not intend. We intended the billboard as a play on words to encourage the loving act of gift giving and are deeply saddened that it offended anyone.

The store has been in operation since 1926.

A protest against the content of the billboard was planned for outside the store on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.

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