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September 17, 2013

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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