Italy's "Pink Hitler" Is Merely the Tip of Advertisers' Obsession With the WW2 Dictator

Last Updated May 24, 2010 5:46 PM EDT

Some Italians are annoyed at an ad by the clothing company Cambia Style which shows Adolf Hitler in a pink military uniform. What's surprising here is that anyone outside the U.S. or Britain is angry at seeing Hitler in an ad. As I've noted before, while he's taboo in the West, the architect of the Holocaust crops up with bewildering frequency in foreign advertising, touting chopsticks, highlighter pens and Hewlett-Packard products.

The last time we were all offended by the use of Hitler in an ad -- when he appeared having sex in this NSFW commercial for World AIDS Day -- Mediaite pointed out that Hitler is essentially lazy advertising shorthand for something bad in much of the world.

That theory is borne out if you do a search for "Hitler" on Ads of the World -- a database of advertising that creative types upload their work to -- you'll find nine pages of results. Some of them are "spec" ads, meaning that clients never actually published them. But some of them carry publishing dates. And most of them are from non-U.S. countries.

Here's a few:

Related: