Turkish shampoo ad featuring Hitler stirs protests

By Hürriyet Daily News

A shampoo commercial on Turkish television has drawn protests from Turkey’s Jewish community for using Adolf Hitler to promote the product. The Chief Rabbinate of Turkey issued a press statement yesterday to condemn the commercial and protest the company.

“Despite the discussion we had with the owner of the advertising agency in which we shared our sadness and disappointment, we regretfully noticed that the commercial in question still appears in the media,” read the statement. “We would like to make a reminder once again that it’s totally unacceptable to make use of Hitler – the most striking example of cruelty and savagery in history, who caused the death of millions of people with his perverse mentality and twisted ideology – in order to make a difference or raise awareness in a commercial. We reprimand this mindset and emphasize the importance of a public apology in order to repair the damage that this commercial has caused to society’s conscience.”

The commercial shows black-and-white footage of Hitler making a speech dubbed in Turkish with German subtitles. “If you are not wearing female clothes, do not use shampoo for women. Here it is. If you are a man, you have to use this shampoo. Real men use it,” Hitler says in promoting the shampoo which the company claims was produced for the special needs of men.

Using Hitler, who massacred more than 6 million people – most of whom were Jews – in an advertisement for any reason is categorically unacceptable, Chief Rabbi İshak Haleva said.

“This is beyond all ethics, as well as a huge insult to human rights,” Haleva said in a written statement. “We believe and expect that the necessary sensitivity will be shown and that a correction will be made soon.”