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September 17, 2013 6

Hitler As Pitchman In Saudi Satellite Station Ad Campaign

hitler-saudi-arabia-mbc-inglourious-basterds

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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