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Why Giant's Howard ad has so many people upset

Monday - 1/13/2014, 4:47pm  ET

Howard students: Not offended, confused

WTOP's Megan Cloherty reports

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A Giant grocery store ad welcoming back Howard University students from winter break has rankled the Howard community because the ad pictured a young, white female. The vast majority of students at Howard, a historically black university, are African-American.

People started calling the company out on Twitter late last week, noting that the picture of the woman in the ad doesn't reflect a typical Howard University student.

The ad ran in circular specific to the O Street Market store, to let students know that the store as City Market at O, near Howard, had re-opened while they were away. Classes at Howard resumed Monday.

"Unfortunately an incorrect stock photo was used in the ad and we apologize for this oversight," Jamie Miller, spokesman for Giant, told me in an email. "We wish all Howard University students a successful semester." It's unclear whether those circulars are still available in the store.

Complicating matters is that most of the tweets were directed to the @GiantFoodStores handle, which is the Twitter handle of the Giant subsidiary based in Carlisle, Pa. But the D.C.-area stores are owned by the Giant subsidiary based in Landover.

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