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A Giant store ad featuring a white model to targetHoward University's predominantly black student body is raising eyebrows.

Nearly 87% of Howard's undergraduate and graduate students are black, according to the university. White students make up less than 3% of the student population.

The ad appeared in Giant's circular specific to the new store near Howard's campus. Tweets criticizing the ad started appearing Saturday.

In a statement e-mailed to USA TODAY Network, Giant said, "Unfortunately, an incorrect stock photo was used in the ad, and we apologize for this oversight. We wish all Howard University students a successful semester."

Victoria Walker, a junior broadcast major at Howard, said she was surprised to see a white student in the ad.

"A simple Google search would show Howard is an HBCU," Walker said, referring to historically black colleges and universities.

Other students attached little significance to the ad.

"I don't think it was that big of a deal," said Anthony Miller, president of the Howard University Student Association and a first-year graduate student in sociology. "I think in the future, we'll find a different student in the ad."

The university is not taking a position on the ad, according to Howard spokeswoman Kerry-Ann Hamilton in an e-mail to USA TODAY Network.

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