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September 17, 2013

Hitler As Pitchman In Saudi Satellite Station Ad Campaign


Screenshot of MBC ad

Update – 9/23/13: According to an article published on the Arabian Business website, a spokesperson for MBC said that the ad has been removed.

The Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), a Saudi-owned company based in Dubai that operates several satellite television stations, is using Hitler and Nazi imagery in its latest advertisement campaign. The use of such imagery con­tributes to the triv­i­al­iza­tion of and desen­si­ti­za­tion to the unpar­al­leled hor­rors of the Holocaust.

The ad, airing on various MBC stations, uses clips from the 2009 Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds where Hitler is speaking to other Nazis in room. The Arabic subtitles added by MBC Action to the clip focus on the station’s new programming during the month of September. “Look into the achievements of MBC Action,” the subtitles read. “They will control the entire region. They are preparing for a campaign called “September to Remember.”

The ad is yet another exam­ple of how offensive Hitler and Nazi imagery occasionally appears in adver­tis­ing around the world.

In March 2012, film footage of Adolf Hitler was used in a Turk­ish com­mer­cial for men’s sham­poo. The ad for Bio­men, which appeared on Turk­ish tele­vi­sion, fea­tured a video of Hitler angrily ges­tic­u­lat­ing, with a Turk­ish voiceover call­ing on men to pur­chase the shampoo. The Hitler shampoo ads were pulled after public and government pressure on the advertiser in Turkey.

Earlier in 2012, pho­tos of a Nazi con­cen­tra­tion camp were used in a pro­mo­tional cam­paign for a Dubai gym, includ­ing an image of the rail­road lead­ing to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the slo­gan, “Kiss your calo­ries good­bye.” After receiv­ing com­plaints, the founder of The Cir­cuit Fac­tory gym in Dubai, Phil Parkin­son, apol­o­gized and removed the photo.

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March 23, 2012

Turkish Ad Uses Footage of Hitler to Sell Shampoo

Adolf Hitler is the star of a Turkish commercial for men’s shampoo. The ad for Biomen, which is now appearing on Turkish television, features a video of Hitler angrily gesticulating, with a Turkish voiceover calling on men to purchase the shampoo. 
“If you’re not wearing women’s clothes, then you shouldn’t be wearing woman’s shampoo,” the voiceover says. “Here it is. A real man’s shampoo, Biomen.”
The ad is yet another example of how Holocaust-era images are used in advertising around the world, which contribute to the trivialization of and desensitization to the unparalleled horrors of the Holocaust.
Earlier this year, photos of a Nazi concentration camp were used in a promotional campaign for a Dubai gym, including an image of the railroad leading to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the slogan, “Kiss your calories goodbye.” After receiving complaints, the founder of The Circuit Factory gym in Dubai, Phil Parkinson, apologized and removed the photo.
In a letter to the Turkish Ambassador to the United States, ADL called on the Turkish government to condemn the ad. The Turkish Jewish community has also released the following statement:
“We follow with sadness and regret the use of Hitler figure in the Biomen Men Shampoo advertisement, which was brought to the screen in recent days.”

“Hitler, who massacred 6 Million Jews in gas chambers for the sole reason of being Jewish and also killed its mentally disabled citizens on the purpose of creating “a pure Arian race,” had created the darkest pages of the world history. Using him in an advertisement for whatever reason is an unacceptable situation and could not be accepted by us at all. This is beyond all ethics as well as a huge insult to human rights.”

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