Friday, January 6, 2012

Gym Uses Nazi Death Camp Image In Promotional Ad

In what has to be one of the most disturbing and unbelievable ad campaigns in history, a Dubai gym used a image of a Nazi concentration camp to promote weight loss.

The photo in the ad shows train tracks leading up to the doors of Auschwitz, where millions of Jews were murdered, along with the words "Kiss your calories goodbye."

Needless to say there was a firestorm of criticism after The Circuit Factory gym used the ads to promote itself.

Phil Parkinson, founder of the gym, has since removed the ads and issued apologies on Facebook and Twitter.

The worldwide reaction to the tasteless promotion was fast and critical.

"To use images of any genocide to advertise a product is, at best, almost unbelievably inept," said Alexander McNabb, head of Spot On Public Relations in Dubai.

Inept or tasteless, the use of the offensive ad has reportedly paid dividends— Parkinson said the controversy has been great for business.

"A huge number of people have researched or Googled... our YouTube channel has shot up, our group page has got a hundred extra members in minutes and we have had about five times as many inquiries as before," said Parkinson.  "It has got to the point I am nervous that I can't cater for demand."

The Anti-Defamation League noted Parkinson's apology but expressed displeasure in a statement:  "We are increasingly troubled by both the ignorance and mindset of a generation that appears to be so distant from a basic understanding of the Holocaust that it seems acceptable to use this horrific tragedy as a gimmick to bring attention to promoting weight loss.

Parkinson said his gym will donate all this weekend's proceeds to the organization. 

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