Just as it looked like all the steam went out of the J.C. Penney tea-pot scandal, in comes the new catalog to the Ad Age newsroom. And in it lies another potential case of housewares masquerading as real people. (Or, perhaps, we're just crazy.)
For those of you vacationing in Borneo last week without wireless access, here's a recap. A brew-ha-ha erupted online after someone spotted a billboard in Southern California advertising a tea kettle for sale at the retailer. With its salute-like spout and odd-shaped handle, its purported resemblance to Adoph Hitler got social networks roiling.
The retailer, with surprising lightheartedness given its recent finanical and management woes, took to Twitter with a seemingly perfect response: "If we have designed the teapot to look like something, we would have depicted a kitten tea kettle :)" So much for the theory that an entire line of dictator teapots was in the works.
Crisis averted? One would think so...until the catalog arrived. Among its gleaming appliances on glossy stock are seven pages devoted to Michael Graves designs, including the now-infamous teapot.
And on the page opposite is a bright shiny toaster with a portly appearance, hat-like top and bulbous copper lever. You might say it just looks like a bread loaf, but to us, it looks suspiciously like Oliver Hardy.