A gym advertisement with a explicit Holocaust connection? What could possibly go wrong?

We thought Newt Gingrich's comparison of failing to be on the Virginia Republican primary ballot to Pearl Harbor was bad. Now a gym owner in Dubai thought a picture of the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp would be a great advertisement poster for his gym.

He thought wrong.

Phil Parkinson, 32, posted a picture to the Circuit Factory's Facebook page of the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz with the caption "Where your calories go to die." Great slogan by itself? Sure. But not when attached to an image like that. The Nazis slaughtered 1.3 million people at Auschwitz.

From The National, in the United Arab Emirates:

Parkinson said he used an image of Auschwitz to advertise weight-loss and exercise classes because "it's like a calorie concentration camp."

"The idea of the campaign isn't to upset anybody," he said. "The way branding works is ... you want people talking about your business. We want them talking about us, but we don't want people to take offence at it."

On his Twitter account, Parkinson posted many apologies and tweeted: "Apologies for the insane poster campaign that was put up this morning. The creative guy has been told where to go."

But wait, the Holocaust poster wasn't the only advertisement for The Circuit Factory that was subsequently deleted from the page due to criticism. Three others were taken off, including a poster with a picture of a full toilet. And not a toilet full of water.

And while Parkinson invoked the "all press is good press" excuse as a semi-defense, we'll just say something that's so obvious that it shouldn't need to be said: there's never a good time to make a light-hearted Holocaust reference. Ever.

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