The leaders of the California Legislative Women's Caucus called for removal of a state lottery television ad that shows a woman slapping a man across the face, saying it sanctions violence.
"It is inappropriate for any entity, especially a state-funded Commission, to promote its products through the use of violence," state Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), the caucus chairwoman, and Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), the caucus co-chair, wrote to the head of the Lottery Commission.
The California Lottery's "Luck has a new look" ad shows a mysterious woman in black -- Lady Luck -- who walks up to a man playing a new scratcher lottery card in a bowling alley and then slaps him in the face, after which the guy yells "I won." Lady Luck walks away smiling.
The lawmakers note that the Legislature has taken a position against violence against women, but that they believe violence by women against men is also a serious problem.
"This commercial glamorizes violence under the auspice of "lady luck" and we find it offensive and counterproductive to society at large," they wrote, asking the lottery to better scrutinize the content of future adds to prevent "harmful messages that are paid for with public dollars."
Asked about the complaint, lottery officials did not immediately have a response, but the ad could no longer be found on the lottery's website.
[Updated 6:18 p.m. The Lottery announced it would replace the ad with one in which Lady Luck blows a kiss rather than slaps the man playing the scratcher]
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Lottery tickets. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images