Sushi eatery ad sparking controversy in Phoenix

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by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on August 27, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 27 at 2:02 PM

PHOENIX -- A restaurant says it is just trying to sell sushi, but some Phoenix officials say the ad has nothing to do with food and call it violent and vulgar.

Suzi Stingray is the center of a new ad campaign for Stingray Sushi.

"I don't really see where anybody would be offended by the ad," said restaurant co-owner Bryan Chittenden.

He said his ad is not meant to offend anyone.

"We weren't looking for any controversy," Chittenden said. "All we were trying to do is come up with an edgy, contemporary Japanese ad campaign that sells sushi."

But when the restaurant tried to put Suzi Stingray up at a city bus stop, the Phoenix Public Transit Department hit the brakes, saying it didn't fit the city's standards.

"The cartoon character's skirt was very short that her panties were showing," said spokeswoman Marie Chapple.

And the short skirt wasn't the only problem.

"The use of guns -- it's not the guns, it's just the use in a firing stance depicted violence," Chapple said.

But Stingray disagrees.

"We had to have something that gave her an edge," Chittenden said. "Suzi is a mysterious, secret double agent so that is why she carries a gun."

The ad is already up on billboards and Facebook and Chittenden said it's a First Amendment issue. He said the ad is no different than several others already posted.

"We just want the government to be consistent," he said. "They've posted gun shows on bus stops and numerous action movies."

City officials say they're ready to compromise. If Suzi puts her guns in a holster and puts on a longer skirt, they'll approve the ad.

 

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