Posted: Sep 19, 2007 8:05 pm
Canadian telco Bell issued a public apology following their use of controversial Sex Pistols reference in a recent advertising campaign. Subway and bus shelter advertisements for their discount phone service Solo featured a woman dressed in stereotypical 70s punk rock attire, complete with a button that read "Belsen Was a Gas," the title to one of the Pistols' more controversial tracks. The song, intentionally offensive as was typical of the period, featured lyrics about the about the World War II Bergen-Belsen concentration camps in Germany where an estimated 50,000 people died (among them Anne Frank, who's diary was famously published after the war). It appeared on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle soundtrack.
The phone company has pulled the ads and claims that the text was illegible during the approval process. When blown up to mural size the button was clearly visible. A spokesperson stated "It was an unfortunate situation, one we regret, and in fact an error on our part, and we took it down as soon as we could."