German ad slogan evoking Nazi camp pulled

15th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Coffee company Tchibo and oil group Esso will tear down advertising posters proclaiming "To Each His Own," a Roman phrase misappropriated by the Nazis.

Berlin -- A German advertising campaign was abruptly cancelled over complaints that the slogan used also stood at the entrance to the Nazi Buchenwald concentration camp, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

Coffee company Tchibo and oil group Esso will tear down advertising posters proclaiming "To Each His Own", posted at around 700 petrol stations across Germany, the Frankfurter Rundschau said.

The phrase was originally coined by Cato over 2000 years ago ("suum cuique"), but its German translation "Jedem das Seine" was misused as a cynical slogan by the Nazis.

A spokeswoman for Tchibo, Angelika Scholz, told the newspaper the company had "no intention of hurting anyone's feelings."

The slogan was "unfortunately" chosen and the signs will be removed "as soon as possible," she said.

Esso said the advertising firm that designed the campaign was unaware the slogan selected had Nazi overtones.

The Central Council for Jews in Germany, the country's leading Jewish organisation, complained the slogans were either "incredibly tasteless" or showed a "total ignorance of history."

The two companies are not the first to have used the phrase in Germany. Mobile phone company Nokia became embroiled in a similar row in 1998 when advertising interchangeable mobile phone cases.

A short time later, retail group Rewe also withdrew advertising posters with the slogan: "Barbecues: To Each His Own."

AFP/Expatica

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