Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: March 26th, 2012
Using footage of Hitler in Turkish commercial creates uproar

Using images and vintage film footage to hawk wares isn’t a new or novel concept in advertising.

News footage is often public domain, especially historical footage. Even if it isn’t, getting the appropriate licensing to use it often only takes a decent budget.

However, there is something to be said for what is appropriate and what isn’t–you know, giving thought to propriety, discretion and, of course, taste.

When a television commercial hit the air waves last week in Turkey, one would have to assume that none of these were considered. The 12-second spot shows a grainy clip of Adolf Hitler, with a voiceover in Turkish, touting a product called Biomen, a “100 percent men’s shampoo.”

The story broke on NewsCore, a media conglomerate, and ran in its member newspapers over the weekend–one of them, the New York Post. Translated, the copy read ”If you are not wearing a woman’s dress, you should not use her shampoo either.”

The Turkish Jewish community and international groups like the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League are outraged, calling the ad “repulsive” and demanding it be pulled from the airwaves.

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