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Tactless chalk sign at a Philly bar got one very thoughtless employee sacked

Ths sign put a staffer out of a job.
Ths sign put a staffer out of a job.

When it comes to beer and bars, there is a certain level of advertising that dips below conventional values. Gals in bikinis, goofy catch-phrases, harebrained Super Bowl beer ads – you get the picture. But one small Chinatown bar in Philadelphia crossed even the beer-boozer’s stratum of tolerability with their insensitive sign. For the marketing misdemeanor, one poor sap got sacked.

NBC News today reported on the “Bar-Ly” pub, located on 11th and Appletree Streets in Chinatown. According to their website, Bar-Ly serves “60 draft beers and intercontinental bar food.” But it was a handwritten chalk sign put out on the sidewalk, advertising one such beer, that perturbed the pub’s passersby.

The message, scribed in colored chalk, read: “I like my beer like I like my violence… domestic.” Attached to the sign was an image of the Heineken Light logo. So the message here is what? Heineken is an import beer; is the pub saying they dislike the Dutch brewing company? Are they trying to drive interest to their wide selection of non-domestic brews?

Either way, the insensible signage drew the ire of many. The little a-frame sign has stirred up the controversy cauldron for those who say the message poked fun at the very serious issue of domestic abuse. Shares ComCast Philly: “NBC10 viewer Lisa Schultz, who was outraged by the message, tweeted a picture of the sign. ‘Can you believe what this sign said…,’ she wrote. She also sent angry tweets to the bar and her followers.”

NBC10 tracked down the sign’s writer, who reportedly refused to give his name to reporters. Examiner called over to the bar, but a gal there that answered the phone said they are “not giving any comments on the incident at this time.”

According to NBC, the man who had written the sign said it was only out on the sidewalk for a few hours. After receiving multiple complaints, it was removed and erased. “We didn’t want to offend people, so we took it down,” he said. “I personally didn’t think it was offensive.” Of course not; the indiscreet sign-maker clearly had no qualms before he wrote it, why should he after?

The bar is known for obtuse messages on their signs. One of their signs teased patrons about their “loud grandmother” while another suggested that guardian angels are alcoholics. But this sign, while a clever play on words, was deemed too inappropriate. For that, the dude was fired.

Bar-Ly’s owner Buu Ly said he was not aware of the sign before it was set outside, and did not approve of it. Ly said the employee who wrote the message reflected “very poor judgment” and has since been fired.

“In no way does Bar-Ly condone domestic violence nor do we find it humorous,” a statement from the bar read. “We are sorry to everyone who was offended.”

According to the Philadelphia-based advocacy group Women Against Abuse, more than one out of every three women will become victims of “severe physical abuse” by a male intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.

According to NBC, Women Against Abuse also “says 2,000 emergency room visits by Philadelphia women were likely the result of some type of domestic violence and more than 107,000 domestic violence complaints were filed by the Philadelphia Police Department in 2012.”

What are your thoughts on the firing of this employee? Did he get what he deserved or is this bar swinging too far the other way? Sound off below.

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