Ukraine typically doesn’t get into the news for good events. There are egg-throwing brawls in their parliament, their president being attacked by a ceremonial wreath, and the fact that they let killer dolphins escape. Once again, Ukraine is back in the news, but it’s not something they did, it’s something someone else did. German consumer goods company Henkel released a toilet refresher that looks like the Ukraine flag, and that’s got Ukraine angry.
Henkel says the Bref Duo Stick is yellow and blue to symbolize the lemon scent and clean hygenic water respectively, but try telling angry Eastern Europeans that. The flag clips to the rim of the toilet underneath the toilet seat. The unintentional offense has resulted in a full-scale withdrawal from the market.
“We are very sorry if people were offended by the design of our new product,” said Tore Birol, Henkel’s GM for laundry and home care products in Ukraine. ”We stopped the production, distribution and television advertising (of the product).”
Henkel pulled the product three days after complaints started, but the interesting thing is the product isn’t even available in Ukraine. It was marketed in Central and Eastern Europe, and wasn’t even pushed in the country most offended. However, it was advertised in Russia, and that’s why Ukrainians got offended. The Ukrainians saw the ad on Russian television and bingo, there’s your problem.
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