Consulting Firm Apologizes to ADL for Ad Depicting Concentration Camp Birkenau

Los Angeles, CA, August 7, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed an apology from a Los Angeles-based litigation and business consulting firm that ran a digital advertisement containing a photograph of the wire fence and guard tower at the Nazi concentration camp Birkenau.

The advertisement for Econ One, which appeared in a professional association’s online newsletter, contained a picture of the wire fence and guard tower from Birkenau with the slogan, “Would Anyone Sit through 2 hours of the Okay Escape?”  The company said the ad was intended to be a take on the classic Steve McQueen film, “The Great Escape,” and not meant to invoke the Holocaust.  The photo was purchased from a stock photo agency to depict a prison-like environment, the company said in a statement.

“Econ One has assured us that they were unaware that the photo was from Birkenau and that it was purchased as a stock image with the intent to portray a prison for an ad campaign,” said Amanda Susskind, ADL Pacific Southwest Regional Director.  “It was an unfortunate choice, and the company has made clear to us that there was no intent to invoke the Holocaust.  The important thing is that they have removed the photo and understand that the context in which the image was being used was offensive and inappropriate.”

Representatives of Econ One assured ADL the ad will no longer be used, and the company has posted an explanation and an apology on their web site.  The company has been in regular contact with ADL since the image was identified as being that of a concentration camp.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.