Prague - The mobile-phone service provider T-Mobile has retired one of its advertisements after the spot has been criticized as incorrect though not surpassing the ethical limits.
The T-Mobile advertising spot in which Czech actor Ivan Trojan meets, during a cross-country skiing, a Polish trafficker disguised as a small spruce has evoked a large response from the public, but a negative one as well.
The Polish ambassador to the Czech Republic Grazyna Bernatowicz has criticized the spot and demanded that it should be removed from the TV-broadcasting programme. The T-Mobile spokesperson has confirmed that the advertising will disappear from the TV-broadcasting as well as from the on-line channels.
The experts on advertising have agreed that the spot is incorrect, but that it nevertheless doesn’t surpass the ethical limits.
„I think that the complaint deposed by the Polish ambassador is justified,“ Wadim Strielkowski, lecturer at the Marketing Communication and PR department at the Charles University in Prague, said. „The spot is based on the xenophobic stereotypes that the Poles are black marketeers.“
„If the creative department of the mobile-phone operator is lacking of ideas they should not use such a topic but try to invent something more imaginative,“ he continues. „Then, the Polish advertisement makers could respond with a similar spot. The Poles themselves are cultivating stereotypes concerning the Czechs.“
Of a similar though more moderate opinion is the editor-in-chief of the Marketing and Media magazine Milan Hladký.
„The T-Mobile advertising campaign is in the long-term popular also for that reason that it is based on anecdotes,“ he stressed. „And in making jokes, the correctness is often put aside.“
He pointed out that traffickers similar to the one from the T-Mobile spot don’t exist today anymore and there is no more smuggling across the Czech-Polish border as well. In his opinion, the T-Mobile advertising is but an anectode and as such it should be tolerated.
„We can’t be astonished if, in the next time, the Poles will make jokes about us and use some old stereotype concerning the Czechs,“ he said.
„The success of our advertising spots exploits a specific type of humor that is based on hyperbole and absurd situations,“ the spokeswoman of T-Mobile Martina Kemrová stressed. „In other spots, we have made jokes about motorcyclists, ski jumpers or bodybuilders. Although we are sorry about the deposed complaints we are as well convinced that the spot is not surpassing any ethical or legal norms and that it is using only a hyperbole that is in the Czech milieu very usual.“