You would think that an advertisement welcoming back students from one of the nation’s preeminent historically black universities would feature a picture of the average student on campus, but instead Giant grocery store included a young white female in its ad for Howard University.

As a result, Giant received a tremendous amount of negative feedback on social media, with many from the university community complaining that the ad doesn’t reflect a typical Howard student.

The backlash was swift as people shared their distaste for the photo. The hashtag #marketingfail seemed to follow Giant’s name in tweet after tweet, warranting a response from the corporation.

“Unfortunately an incorrect stock photo was used in the ad and we apologize for this oversight,” Jamie Miller, spokesman for Giant, explained in an email to Washington Business Journal. “We wish all Howard University students a successful semester.”

The ad ran in a circular for the O Street Market store near Howard’s campus in northwest as a reminder for students that the location had re-opened while they were on break. Whether the ad is still being used is unclear.


Image via @SterotypeUsDC