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History's Greatest Monster Used to Peddle Shampoo

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It’s an odd move when a company explicitly markets against an entire gender demographic. Take the most recent ad campaign from Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) for its ten-calorie Dr Pepper Ten soft drink that proudly boasts, “It’s Not For Women.” Sounds like that “Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?” query doesn’t extend to the fairer sex.

Odder still is when a product, in an attempt to target male consumers, intentionally excludes -- not only women but -- anyone with an iota of sensitivity. Well, a Turkish cosmetics company has managed that feat in a new commercial for its Biomen shampoo starring its posthumous spokesman, Adolf Hitler.

The 13-second spot uses footage of the the fiery Führer in the middle of one of his fist-pounding speeches.  Overdubbed in Turkish, Hitler is made to vociferate, “If you are not wearing a woman's dress, you should not use her shampoo either!”

Aside from begging the obvious question as to why you’d want your product endorsed by the man responsible for the genocide of six million Jews, isn’t there a brutal dictator out there with better hair? I mean, aside from the little number he sported on his upper lip, the Nazi mass murderer didn’t have a whole lot to folically brag about. In fact, if you ask Radiohead, it’s a “Hitler hairdo” that makes them “feel ill.”

Why not consider Stalin? As far as I know, his dead celebrity brand is still largely up for grabs as far as the male hair care products industry is concerned.

Obviously, the international community is having a field day over the Hitler commercial. Abraham H. Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) national director calls it “a disgusting and deplorable marketing ploy.” Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, added that the video contributes “to the trivialization of and desensitization to the unparalleled horrors of the Holocaust. There can never be any justifiable purpose for using the images of Hitler, Nazis or any other depiction of the Nazi killing machine to sell products or services.”

Though the ADL has sent a letter of protest to Turkey's Ambassador to the US, Namik Tan, it’s unclear whether company will bow to political pressure. Thus far, despite the public outcry, the Biomen shampoo ad has not been pulled.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.