A Dutch TV ad making use of erotic images of supposedly Ukrainian women has triggered a diplomatic row between Amsterdam and Kiev. While Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry rages with indignation, Dutch diplomats act as though nothing has happened.
The advert titled Keep Him Home is based on the assumption Ukrainian women are sexy and promiscuous, therefore Dutch women should keep their husbands at home instead of letting them go to the Euro 2012 football championship in June. The championship will be held in Ukraine and Poland. The clip shows that an internet search “Ukrainian women” brings a load of photos of scantily clad beauties.
Trying it out for yourself, a Google search for ‘Ukrainian women’ comes up with lots of pictures of half-naked women boasting their sex appeal to the hilt.
For fairness' sake, the same result brings almost any search combining the word ‘women’ and any nationality.
The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has gone over the top, blaming the Dutch for humiliating human dignity and discrimination on the ground of national origin.
“We condemn that sort of advertisement and we will demand the clip to be taken off the air,” promised Ukraine Foreign Ministry’s press secretary Aleksandr Dikusarov.
The Dutch Foreign Ministry has made no comments on the incident so far.
Calling the ad “humiliating and discriminating”, Ukraine's Ambassador to the Netherlands Oleksandr Horin has already contacted the Dutch Football Federation. The Federation firmly dissociated itself from the clip, saying it was never informed about the clip’s content and called the use of the logo of the Federation in the advert unlawful.
The Dutch Energy Company (Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij) that commissioned the ad is smugly pleased with the results of the advertisement.
“With this commercial, we took 'celebrity endorsement' in Dutch commercials to the “next level”. Our company is known for its celebrity campaigns and it seems the new message is also very suitable,” said Pieter Schoen, director of the Dutch Energy Company.
The growing diplomatic scandal now ensures that company’s advertising campaign is getting wider exposure.
The clip is being aired by Dutch TV channels and has been published on Youtube.
Several complaints have been lodged with the Commission of Advertising Ethics of Netherlands.
Netherlands has previously been stigmatized for extreme right wing Party for Freedom’s (Partij voor de vrijheid, PVV) internet website calling on to Dutch citizens to inform on the citizens of other EU states working in Holland, for example Poles, Hungarians and others.