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.