A Dubai fitness center has pulled an ad that featured train tracks to the Auschwitz death camp and the slogan," Kiss your calories goodbye."
Phil Parkinson, manager of the Circuit Factory in Dubai, admitted he was “not surprised people have reacted so strongly regarding the poster,” according to GulfNews.com.
“The creative team got it badly wrong. I am not surprised people are upset,” he said, adding that he was “mortified” when he saw the ad. He tweeted: "Apologies for the insane poster campaign that was put up this morning. The creative guy has been told where to go."
"I have never heard of an advert in such a poor taste,” Dimitri Metaxas, regional executive director of digital operations at Omnicom Media Group, told the website. “If it was a big multinational company that posted this particular advert there would be hell to pay,” he stated.
The ad was uploaded onto the company’s Facebook page, setting off protests.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was outraged at the use of a photo of the Nazi concentration camp to promote the gym. Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, stated, "The owner’s apology for the outrageous use of an image of a Nazi concentration camp to promote his fitness center is appropriate and welcome.
“We are increasingly troubled by both the ignorance and mindset of a generation that appears to be so distant from a basic understanding of the Holocaust that it seems acceptable to use this horrific tragedy as a gimmick to bring attention to promoting losing weight.
"We wonder: What do we have to do to educate and impart to current and future generations the perils of bigotry, racism, discrimination and anti-Semitism? If we do not convey the importance of eliminating these ills, society is doomed to relive the horrors of the Holocaust."