The pin that embarrasses the giant TLC
Can an advertising campaign generate, in a mobile operator, such an embarrassment as to force him to apologize? This is what happened to Solo Mobile, the Canadian low-cost operator of the Bell Canada group, for having advertised its services with posters that, due to a misunderstanding, carried an image branded as anti-Semitic with the words “Belsen was a gas”.
Belsen, or more precisely Bergen-Belsen, was a concentration camp located near the city of Bergen (in 1943 it passed under the **** command and 50,000 people died there, including Anne Frank and her sister Margot, ed). “Belsen was a gas” is instead the title of a rather controversial song by the *** Pistols about the Holocaust (written with a provocative lyrics, which would actually be against Nazism and the promoters of a dominating Aryan race).
That title peeped out on one of the pins (badges) sported by the punk look of the girl who featured as the testimonial of the Solo Mobile promotional campaign published posters posted on the streets of Vancouver and Toronto, where a large Jewish community and many survivors live. Holocaust. The publicity aroused sensational controversy, raised by the Semitic communities who immediately put the operator on the media bench of the accused, accusing him of anti-Semitic propaganda.
“It was an unintentional mistake,” said Mark Langdon, a spokesman for Bell Canada, adding that advertising would be suspended immediately. The campaign was approved by Bell after viewing some sample images, much smaller and in less legible resolution than they would later appear in the public eye. It was a pin like so many exist and it was not legible. Bell Canada was thus forced to formulate its public and official apologies.