Korean cosmetics maker Coreana finally pulls "Nazi ad"

Wallyworld gossips with us and tells us that the Korean Nazi ad has been pulled, the ad from from Coreana has been rubbing all sorts of people the wrong way since it began airing in early February, the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Israeli Embassy sent letters of protest to Coreana calling for the ad's withdrawal. Wallyworld says:

Korad, the Seoul agency that produced this naff ad, said the concept was a Nazi soldier and Hitler symbolized "revolution" in keeping with the lotion's "revolutionary" moisturizing and calming effects. What-the-fuck?

Googling a bit, it seems that the storm has been brewing for some time, with Brian in Jeollanam-do blogging on the changes made to the ad after the first round of complaints. They changed "Hitler couldn't even hold east and west" to "Nobody could hold east and west."... Ho-kay. Yeah massive difference there. Uhm, not. Robert Koehler found the conclusion in a Korean Newspaper to be 'a tad bewildering'.

Meanwhile, concerning the protest, Vice President Juliana Yun, the head of sales for Coreana LA, said, “Because of reasons such as image rights, you can’t use advertisements produced in Korea in the United States.”

So I gather this means "Koreans don't view Nazi uniforms the same way the rest of the world does" and perhaps even "Koreans reckon Nazi uniforms look bad-ass".

In this CNN article company spokesman Kim Yoon-oh blames the stylist, who might have thought the uniform did look bad-ass and thus suit the ads 'idea' of, ahem, "conquering" wrinkles:

The commercial still features the same militaristic imagery, but Kim said Coreana was not aware of the Nazi-style logo on the model's cap. He said the costume was selected by a stylist affiliated with Korad, a Seoul-based firm that produced the commercial.

Back at Brian in Jeollanam-do this paragraph seems to confirm the disconnect:

The "uproar" isn't happening in Korea among Koreans, or even in Asia, but rather among a small minority of foreigners here, a special interest group, and overseas media outlets. Haven't seen any mention yet in the media over here. I suspect that most Koreans would find nothing wrong with the ad at all..

AP reported that the Nazi ad would be pulled April 16th.

We have archived the "Nazi ad" here

Old adgrunts might remember when Izzue.com made the worldwide news for their nazi fashions back in 2003.

Also fashionable in South Korea are Hitler Bars. I guess that's just my note to non-Koreans that Nazi symbols aren't charged in the same way over there as they are over here.

From AP:

The Coreana Cosmetics Co. decided Tuesday to withdraw the television ad for a skin lotion to prevent further controversy, company spokesman Kim Yoon-ho said.

The ad shows a young woman in a military-style trench coat holding a soldier's cap that appears to have the swastika-gripping eagle Nazi insignia. The version shown in previews contained the slogan: "Even Hitler didn't have the East and West."

Korad, the Seoul-based agency that produced the ad, said it believed a Nazi soldier and Hitler symbolized "revolution" in keeping with the lotion's "revolutionary" moisturizing and calming effects. It said the reference to the East and West emphasized the product's dual functions.

The cosmetics firm changed the slogan before the ad's actual airing in February to "No one has ever had the East and West." Kim said the revision was designed to prevent controversy.

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Israeli Embassy sent letters of protest to Coreana calling for the ad's withdrawal, Kim said. Korad said it apologized to them on behalf of Coreana.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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lordFredruk's picture

Interesting. But it sounds familiar. Hasn´t it happened several more times in Asia?
For example, didn´t an Indian restaurant use the swastika in their signs?

Dabitch's picture

Ah, well I think Swastikas in India are a whole 'nother thing considering that's where they came from before Hitler co-opted the symbol.

But if you're talking about the Mumbai restaurant named "Hitler's Cross", then yeah, that's another really strange disconnect. I wouldn't want to eat there.

purplesimon's picture

I also recall some pizza place in NZ using Hitler recently. Hell Pizza I think they were called.

Type Hitler Hell Pizza into your favourite search engine and check out some images and news reports.

Dabitch's picture
purplesimon's picture

Bush and Hitler in the same post - what are you trying to say? :)

Dabitch's picture

Oh shoot, I double-Godwinned the thread didn't I?

malkie66's picture

I love the "666" and red eyes graffiti on the second one. You think the agency was behind it?

kidsleepy's picture

classy. just plain classy.

Neo's picture

I'm at a loss for words.

malkie66's picture

That Hell Pizza billboard using Hitler holding a slice and saying "It is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell" was from Cinderella in New Zealand. After complaints they took it down and replaced it with Pope Benedict saying "Hell is real and eternal". Can't wait for the next one. How about Virgil holding up a slice and saying “Each of us bears his own slice of Hell” which might resonate with Kiwis because of the 80s Dave Dobbyn hit song Slice of Heaven

Nah...that sucks as well.

lordFredruk's picture

Exactly Dab. It was the Mumbai restaurant I was referring to.

RLDavies's picture

I've been looking for an old Telegraph article about a Korean company that used images of Hitler to sell air conditioners. It's not on the Telegraph website, but I know it exists because I have it in a scrapbook from 10 or 15 years ago.

The air conditioner firm was using a rather cute and cuddly cartoon Adolf. Apparently Hitler doesn't have any particularly nasty connotations in Korea, and the company (although they agreed to stop the ads after international complaints) couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.

Just pondering: How many generations before a raw nerve of history becomes merely an interesting backstory? I don't think anyone complained about that Capital One ad featuring Genghis Khan and his hordes.

Anonymous Adgrunt's picture

I can't find this video anywhere on the web can you help me?

Dabitch's picture

Sadly, I can not. We never did recieve the ad in order to post it here, and it seems to have been successfully scrubbed off the web.