You’ve seen them all over the place: misspellings that lend very different meanings to signs. The odd image that seems a little out of place on a storefront. The apostrophe thrown in the wrong place making it the very wrong use of “your” rather than “you’re.” However, the latest from JC Penny has officially blown every funny sign you’ve ever seen right out of the water, as the retailer perhaps didn’t consider the power of human imagination.

Now a viral sensation – or at least the subject of a few funny email chains – the “Hitler” teakettle billboard that was on Interstate 405 in Culver City has more than slightly boosted sales for JC Penny. According to Time, at least, by Tuesday afternoon hipsters, those with an affinity for whimsy, potentially a few racists and plenty of individuals who just had to have one, cleared out all stock of the once innocent Michael Graves Design Bells and Whistles Stainless Steel Tea Kettle. Rather than being associated with tea, cozy afternoons and morning caffeine, the item has an unfortunate similarity to the Fuhrer. (Hint: The knob looks like Hitler’s mustache, the handle his hair and the rest? Use your imagination.)

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dig Deeper



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.