Marketers keep stumbling over that other N-word

antiThat’s Nazis. It gives me the creeps just typing it (and no way was I going to put it in the headline). But 65 years after World War II proved exactly how terrible they were, Herr ‘s Schicklgruber‘s party is still causing trouble on the marketing front.

A month ago we had Barclays Bank drawing flack (88mm, no doubt) for a corporate symbol some thought resembled a N symbol even though it pre-dated Adolf & co. by a century. Since then:

A German public television network Sunday sacked a popular talk show host and former news presenter after she had praised the Nazi’s family policies at a news conference for her new book on child-rearing.


Canada‘s biggest phone company has apologized after a punk-rock reference to the Holocaust appeared on billboard advertisements for its cell phones.

And just today

A prosecutor in Bolzano, northern Italy seized wine bottle labels on Wednesday bearing a portrait of Hitler and other Nazis from a winery near the Austrian border, the company said. The 20 labels from the “Der Fuehrer” line show Hitler raising the Nazi salute and his generals, including Hermann Goering, the Reich’s economic minister, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Gestapo, and Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy.

Y’know there are a lot of tricky complex issues in marketing. This isn’t one of them.

UPDATE:  Fashion chain Zara withdraws swastika handbag

(Image courtesy Catalyst magazine from an article on current anti-fascism efforts in Russia.)


5 thoughts on “Marketers keep stumbling over that other N-word

  1. Regarding your recent item reporting on Italian “Hitler Wine”, please note that we have tried this vintage and are able to report the following:
    This wine is exceedingly bold, with a very bitter after-taste. Doesn’t go well with Russian food, completely dominates French cuisine, but can be successfully paired with pasta or sushi. Palette can best be cleansed with U.K. malt whiskeys and, especially, American domestic brews.
    Hitler wine has a full bodied taste with hints of blackcurrant, leather, gunpowder, steel, brick, and burnt wood. “This is a bottle with a message in it, and the message is ‘beware’. This is not a wine for drinking, this is a wine for laying down and avoiding.”
    Ultimately its taste will die in the cellar. Even so, this vintage may occasionally still be found in rural South American cafes.

  2. Pingback: Marketers keep stumbling over that other N-word, part 2 « Collateral Damage

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