An edgy advertising stunt by a Turkish personal care products company, starring Adolf Hitler, has invoked public outrage.
The commercial shows Hitler addressing a public, with the following words superimposed: If you're not wearing women's clothes, you shouldn't be using women's shampoo either. Here it is. A real man's shampoo! Biomen. Real men use Biomen!
Within hours of the advertisement being posted on the Internet, many took to blogs and YouTube, panning the parent company Biomed, while referring to the commercial as disgusting and sick.
However, some argued that the commercial doesn't endorse the Nazi party or its leader, and is only an attempt at humor.
This is not the first time Hitler and related references were used for publicity stunts. An AIDS-awareness commercial aired in 2009 that showed Hitler having unprotected sex, accompanied by the tag-line AIDS is a mass murder, was condemned by mainstream health charities for stigmatizing people infected with the virus.
Italy witnessed an advertising controversy in 2010, when the clothing company Cambia Style showed Hitler in a pink military uniform on its posters accompanied with the caption: Change your style. Don't follow your leader. The swastika on Hitler's armband was replaced by a heart. The posters invoked outrage from people who thought it was offensive to those who fought the Nazis.
The advertising agency behind the Pink Hitler billboards justified their attempt saying their aim was to ridicule him and not trivialize his crimes. Watch the video here.