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Ads making the news this week

These past few weeks, people have been talking about a number of controversial ads, especially . Does this mean people are getting more touchy about certain topics? Or are ad creators getting a bit more daring? Let's check.

PS3 quips about the Nigerian Millionare


The first one is not a foreign ad per say but it did revolve around an internet phenomenon. Perhaps it would be best to call it a popular prejudice on the web. I am referring to PS3's recent ad about reduced prices where the presenter jokes casually about Nigerian moneymaking schemes.

Well, a lot of folks got upset about this one, especially the citizens of Nigeria. They didn't like the fact that folks would define them according to actions undertaken by a few bad apples. Unfortunately, the Nigerian pyramid scheme/ business idea hoax has been doing the round for ages. And has set itself firmly in people's minds. To be fair, the relevant authorities in Nigeria do try to warn folks about any new hoaxes.

Hitler is a Mass Murder

Actually he was, a particularly nasty one at that. He is currently the face of evil in our mind. So, when you use his image to warn folks against unprotected sex, you can see how folks would get iffy about it. The ad in question was a shock advert, meant to jolt viewers out of their apathetic attitude towards casual sex. It was put together by an Aids Awareness group in Germany and needless to say it met with worldwide hostility.

Firstly, many people are still upset about any image or joke trivializing the dictator. It might seem absurd to you generations but some wounds do take a long long time to heal. Thus, those were the main reasons for the objections put forwards by one segment of the German population.

Then there's the issue of the ad tag itself, the bit about 'Aids being a mass murder'. Yes, you can see how this can be a problem as well. You can't criminalize people suffering from HIV or Aids in this way. Well, to be fair, they were making a point about HIV positive folk who were having unprotected sex despite being aware of their status. It was a very blunt way of saying 'stop infections'. However, given the social stigma surrounding HIV and Aids, this is perhaps not the best route to take.

By the way, the ad's been taken down but you can still see it being discussed in sites like this one.

Lost Jews

Oh dear. How did this controversy prop up in the same week as the Hitler sex ad? The 'Lost Jews' ad(s) ruffled quite a few feathers with their take on multi-cultural relationships. The ads in question were in print and video form where they showed typical lost children flyers. The ad states that Jewish folk who married outside their religious circle was like a lost child. You can imagine how this rather blunt attempt to highlight cultural bond can end up offending a lot of people. I know it was aimed at Jewish folk outside Israel but you can see how this can relate to and rattle many multi-cultural, multi-racial couples. The ad was, in part, backed by the government and thankfully, they've realised that the message didn't come across the way they expected. Hence, it's been quietly taken down.