Spinning Macht Frei

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Annals of Tone-Deaf Advertising – Check out what “Polska The Times” has dug up:

Auschwitz w reklamie… klubu fitness. “Obóz koncentracyjny dla kalorii”: Zdjęcie torów prowadzących do obozu ko… http://t.co/4f4aQBhV


Polska The Times

OK, maybe you don’t know Polish, but nonetheless you can see the “Auschwitz” there . . . and the word “fitness” . . .

A rather strange combination, no? Well, the payoff is really the Polska article linked to here, to which I would encourage you to click through since it shows the poster in question for a recent advertising campaign undertaken by a fitness-place called The Circuit Factory: a long, low shot of a railroad track leading to a bleak building (with the label “Auschwitz” off to the left, in case there is any confusion), and the catch-phrase below “Kiss Your Calories Goodbye.”

Let me hasten to add that this “Circuit Factory” place is by no means Polish – it’s apparently to be found in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. In his response to initial press inquiries, though, its owner – one Phil Parkinson – tried to explain the campaign as an effort to demonstrate that his club was “a concentration camp for calories.” Somehow that seemed to contribute nothing further at all towards stemming the waves of opprobrium that headed his way via the Internets and social media.

Then again, on-line there is no such thing as bad publicity. The Polska article ends by citing comments Parkinson made to the Arabian Business website about how beneficial the Auschwitz campaign has been for his firm’s Google/Facebook/YouTube results – “and we have had about five times as many enquiries [presumably about club membership] as before.”

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