Bell Canada apologizes for Belsen reference

Bell Canada has apologized for a punk-rock reference to the Holocaust that appeared in an advertising campaign for cell phones.

The ads, which appear on billboards and buses, featured a woman dressed as a punk rocker wearing a button that reads “Belsen was a gas,” Reuters reported. The billboards were put up in Toronto, home to a large Jewish community and many Holocaust survivors.

The offensive phrase is the title of a song by the Sex Pistols and refers to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

A Bell Canada spokesman said the button could not be read in the sample images of the ad. Canada’s largest communications company is no longer using the ad campaign.

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