New Zealand ads pulled

A TV company in New Zealand that promoted a new program with a derogatory slogan about Jews has apologized.

The company, Prime Television, also has dismantled its billboards in Auckland and Wellington promoting the show, “Madmen: The Glory Years of Advertising,” with the slogan: “Advertising Agency Seeks: Clients. All business considered, even from Jews.”

Prime spokesman Tony O’Brien told the Dominion Post that all the billboards were removed on Wednesday following complaints by the Jewish community, and an apology would run in the next edition of Time magazine, which published a two-page advertisment with the same slogan in its local edition.

“We take full responsibility for this and we have totally apologized to the Jewish community,” O’Brien said. “The campaign crossed the line from being provocative to being offensive.”

Geoff Levy, chairman of the New Zealand Jewish Council, told the newspaper, “The wisdom of the entire project defies belief. Long ago we moved on from this sort of language, but obviously not. In these days of 60 years plus since the Second World War, I never thought it would come again, let alone to New Zealand.”

Regional Wellington Jewish Council chairman David Zwartz said the campaign suggested Jews were “some other sort of class of human beings, second-class citizens.” He said the ads reminded him of a time when it was “acceptable to be anti-Semitic.”

“It’s not the case now, especially in New Zealand. It was totally derogatory to Jewish people, in any context.”

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