How could a poster put up in Palermo, Italy, with the caption, “Change your style. Don’t follow your leader,” provoke upset? When the subject of the poster is none other than Adolf Hitler.
The billboard ad for a Sicilian boutique shows Hitler in a pink Nazi cap and uniform. What’s more, the swastika on his armband has been replaced by a heart.
Cue the understandable outrage. In an open letter to Palermo’s mayor, the association of anti-fascist resistance fighters demanded the ad’s removal, saying it “offends those who fought to defeat Nazi-Fascism,” and violates democratic and constitutional principles. The agency behind the posters told the Italian media that the aim was to ridicule Hitler, not minimize his crimes. Agency chief Daniele Manno said he wanted to, “incite young people to follow their own style and not to be conditioned by leaders.”
The campaign is far from over: other scheduled posters include China’s former Communist leader Mao Zedong.