Go to contents

Cosmetics Maker Pulls Commercial Featuring Hitler

Posted April. 16, 2008 03:26,   


A leading Korean cosmetics maker has pulled its TV commercial that featured Adolf Hitler.

Coreana made the move after a flurry of protests from Jewish and international groups.

The company had shot a commercial for a new product starring Korean celebrity Park Jin-hee. In one scene, Park showed up in a Nazi uniform with shell-firing sounds heard in the background. Behind her was the sentence, “Even Hitler could not get East and West at the same time.”

A Coreana source said, “Our new product has two main functions: moisturizing and curing. We just wanted to highlight this, and thus centered the ad on the concept of conquest and Hitler.”

After an internal review, however, the company pulled the word “Hitler” from the commercial and replaced it with “anybody.”

The original commercial, however, drew international condemnation of Korea through YouTube. The Israeli Embassy in Seoul and other Jewish advocacy groups demanded that the entire commercial be removed.

People around the world who watched the clip also said they could not understand how Koreans could make such a commercial when Koreans criticize Japan for its World War II atrocities.

Amid the rising criticism, Coreana’s two CEOs sent written apologies to the embassy and the Jewish groups.

The commercial was removed after two days and an amended version now airs on cable channels in Korea.

artemes@donga.com savoring@donga.com