The 18ft high posters of the Nazi leader advertise a line of clothing for young people and adorn street corners and bus stops in Palermo, Sicily’s biggest city. The ads show the Fuhrer in a lurid pink uniform, with his swastika armband replaced with one bearing a bright red heart, above the slogan “Change Style – Don’t Follow Your Leader”. Many local people say the advertising campaign is offensive and have called for the posters to be taken down.
A city councillor with the centre-Left Democratic Party, Rosario Filoramo, has protested to the mayor of Palermo.
“The use of an image of a person responsible for the worst chapters of the last century is offensive to our country’s constitutional principles and to the sensitivities of citizens,” he said.
A council official, Fabrizio Ferrandelli, said: “Having Hitler’s face on a poster… cannot be passed off as an innocent advertising message. Seeing these posters in front of schools is an embarrassment.” But the advertising agency which came up with the idea said critics of the campaign were over-reacting.
The Hitler poster was a tongue-in-cheek way of encouraging young people not to follow the crowd in their fashion choices.
Well, Hitler was gay, wasn’t he?