Turkey gets into a lather over 'disgusting' shampoo advert featuring Adolf Hitler


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The Independent Online

A men's shampoo brand in Turkey has caused outrage by using Adolf Hitler to promote its product.

The ad for Biomen features black-and-white film of the Nazi leader gesticulating wildly as he makes a speech, with the voice-over: "If you're not wearing women's clothes, you shouldn't be using women's shampoo."

It has drawn international condemnation, with the Anti-Defamation League in New York issuing a statement saying it is "repulsed" by it.

"The use of images of the violently anti-Semitic dictator, who was responsible for the mass murder of six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust, to sell shampoo is disgusting," said Abraham Foxman, a Holocaust survivor and national director of the ADL.

Turkey's chief rabbi's office said on its website that "using Hitler... in a commercial in order to be different or create awareness [of a product] is unacceptable". Turkey is home to about 20,000 Jews, most of whose ancestors arrived in Istanbul during the Ottoman era after fleeing persecution in Europe.

Biota Laboratories, the Istanbul company that makes Biomen, agreed to pull the advert yesterday after initially refusing to drop it, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

In Turkey, Hitler is generally viewed as a strong nationalist leader who united Germany and associations with the Holocaust are often secondary, one Jewish Turk said.