Whiter Whites and Fuhrer Loads! Company Pulls Detergent In Germany After Outcry Over Use Of Neo-Nazi Number

ariel88Procter & Gamble has issued an apology after its new campaign for Ariel laundry detergent in Germany does not suggests a powerfully whitening soap as much as a white power soap. The Ariel powder boxes featured a soccer jersey with a prominent “88.” The problem is that neo-Nazis use “88” to get around laws criminalizing the use of such phrases as Heil Hitler.” “H” is the eighth letter in the alphabet. The company has apologized for “any false connotations” and changed the exterior of the product. The number 88 for the company represented the number of loads that you can wash with one package. For others, any promise to make your “whites the whitest” had a more disturbing historical meaning.


To make matters worse, some Ariel bottles showed the number “18” which is used for A.H. or Adolph Hitler.

While I am certainly sympathetic to the Germans in seeking to end the scourge of fascism, I have long been a critic of the German laws prohibiting certain symbols and phrases, I view it as not just a violation of free speech but a futile effort to stamp but extremism by barring certain symbols. Instead, extremists have rallied around an underground culture and embraced symbols that closely resemble those banned by the government. I fail to see how arresting a man for a Hitler ringtone is achieving a meaningful level of deterrence, even if you ignore the free speech implications. The question is whether skin heads should now be responsible for banning the use of actual numbers.

Nevertheless, people were outraged by the use of the number and is now associated with neo-Nazis. Company spokeswoman Gabi Hassig stated the obvious: “We very much regret if there are any false associations and distance ourselves clearly from any far-right ideology.” All of the products with the numbers are being pulled from shelves — at least those not scooped up by fascists who delight in the notion of using a cleaning product with darker cleansing implications.
Source: USA Today

25 thoughts on “Whiter Whites and Fuhrer Loads! Company Pulls Detergent In Germany After Outcry Over Use Of Neo-Nazi Number”

  1. Nick: Yep, big Hawks fan; love hockey. Hossa’s my favorite player. He does all the right things, capable of flashy plays, yet he does all the little things that help make everyone else around him better.

    I hope you’re right about the series, the Wild are good. Somehow the Hawks have a way of pulling out wins when they count. Tonight will be huge. I’m hoping the Hawks can ‘break serve’.

  2. So, how do they do things like arithmetic and counting in Germany these days? How do they count to 100 with only 98 numbers available? Is counting handled like the latter verses of the children’s song “Bingo” with a hesitation where the number would be voiced? If they are sensitive enough to reject “18” and “88”, do they also reject “13” and “69”? Are those numbers the Voldemort of mathematics?

  3. Somebody in the marketing department needs a local culture education. Let’s sell some Chevy Nova in Mexico.

  4. RTC, Didn’t know you were a Hawks fan. I was when I lived in Chicago but it has waned. My son-in-law is a big Wild fan. I took him to game 3 up in St. Paul last week. The chants of “Craaaawford” were pretty funny. But, Crawford came up big last night. Hawks in 7…maybe.

  5. You never know who or what is going to co-opt your product. Look at the number of football jerseys used as gang signifers.

  6. Darren – if 88 is the number of washes you get, I think pumping 100 would be false advertising.

  7. I do think people are looking for things to be offended to. They go out the door everyday looking for something that is going to offend them and they can complain about it to someone. We are creating a society of victims.

  8. I have to admit that I’ll be feeling a little ambivalent about watching Patrick Kane help lead the Chicago Blackhawks to another Stanley Cup championship.

  9. Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it, ‘all men are created equal except negroes.’ When the Know-nothings get control, it will read, ‘all men are created equal except negroes and foreigners and Catholics.’ When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty–to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” -ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to Joshua F. Speed, Aug. 24, 1855

  10. 88 seems like a weird number to brag about; why not a tiny bit more & make it 100?

  11. This is what you get when you put 10-year-olds with no sense of history or cultural nuance in charge of your packaging and marketing.

  12. The great Alan Page and Lynn Swann couldn’t wear their jersey’s in Germany?

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