Prague - Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh and Lenin. These (in)famous Communist leaders have been promoting a Romanian car maker Dacia in local ads.
The company decided to use the world-reknowned revolutionaries to highlight themselves as promoters of the "car revolution".
Other prominent revolutionary leaders that have appeared in the Dacia car ads are Che Guevara, Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, but also less controversial icons such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
Media experts don't see this type of an ad campaign as a problem. They believe using exaggeration is a common feature of the advertising world.
"The main task of any ad campaign is to attract the attention of potential customers. I personally don't see a problem with this," media expert Daniel Köppl said to Aktuálně.cz, adding that historical figures often appear in ads.
On the other hand, Köppl is skeptical of the ads' effectiveness. "It is primarily aimed at the younger generation, it wants to show them a change has taken place. But for me, there is no rational argument that the change did really happened," Köppl said.
"Old times gone"
Marketing expert Jiří Mikeš shares this opinion.
"Why shouldn´t revolutionaries appear in advertisements? The Dacia car was a purely Communist brand and while respecting the image of the past, which is undergoing certain changes, the company is suggesting that the old times are irrevocably gone," Mikeš said.
Ladislav Štícha, spokesman of the public service Czech Television that is to broadcast the ads, also agreed that the spot is to be understood as an exaggeration. "We do not have a problem with this. The advertisement is meant as exaggeration."
The spokesman of the Office for the Documentation and the Investigation of the Crimes of Communism Jan Srb disagrees, though.
"To use symbols of detestable ideologies of Nazism and Communism in marketing of any product is clearly prohibited by laws of this country," said Srb, adding that he considers it "morally tasteless" to link Martin Luther King and Gandhi to Communist leaders.