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Bell Canada in Sex Pistols billboard ad gaffe

Holocaust reference not a gas

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Bell Canada is suitably red-faced after deploying a billboard campaign featuring a young woman dressed in punk rock attire and proudly sporting a badge declaring "Belsen was a gas".

According to Reuters, the ads for Bell Canada's Solo discount service "appeared in mass-transit systems in Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as in Toronto, which has a large Jewish community and many Holocaust survivors" before the company realised it had inadvertently included the Sex Pistols' song title.

Bell Canada spokesman Mark Langton explained that the ads was approved based on "sample images that were smaller than the final billboard", and that "in the proofing and approval materials, it was impossible to see the button, so our folks missed it".

He added: "It was inadvertent. Obviously, we would never depict such an offensive slogan in our advertising."

Langton confirmed the ads had been pulled and apologised on behalf of Bell Canada "for any offense or distress that we caused". ®

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