Turkish agency Farkyeri blasts rival M.A.R.K.A for Adolf Hitler Biomen ad

The ad by the M.A.R.K.A agency in Turkey for Biomen shampoo that featured Adolf Hitler (it’s been withdrawn now but you can see it here) has stirred up a right old hornet’s nest in Turkey and further afield. Now Turkish agency Farkyeri is running its own print campaign in response.

Here’s what the agency says: As a local advertising agency in Turkey, we condemn the unfortunate commercial produced in March 2012 by an advertising agency from our country for a shampoo brand in our country by using the images of a speech delivered by Adolf Hitler.

From a humanistic perspective, it is shameful to use as a commercial material the tragedy of a genocide that caused the death of millions of innocent people and an international problem of gender apartheid which results in oppression and killing of millions of people. In terms of creativeness, it is simply cheapness and taking the easy way out. We are first human and then advertising agency. We never accept any concession on our humanity for the work we do. We refer those who carried out this cheapness to the conscience of the public. We believe that the advertisers and consumers in our country will give them the best answer.

The belief of any publicity is good publicity can be argued, but there is no question about the good and bad people. This is clearly an attempt to make a commercial profit on the grief of millions of people. This is a shameful human weakness. And this is unfortunately done by an advertising agency in this country.

As a matter of fact, if manhood is racism and gender apartheid… if it is to use grief of millions of oppressed and massacred innocent people as a commercial material, we are not men! If those who prepared this are advertiser and if this is called advertising, we are not an advertising agency!

Which, apart from anything else, is a salutary reminder not to use dictators in ads (unless you’re Charlie Chaplin but his famous depiction of Hitler wasn’t an ad, of course).

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.