- Marjorie van Elven |
Australian eyewear brand Valley Eyewear is being heavily criticized on social media after releasing an advertising campaign shot at Jasenovac, a World War II extermination camp in Croatia where an estimated 80,000 people were murdered between 1941 and 1945. The criticism was so heavy the brand has deleted its Twitter profile.
Thank you especially to @boyanav for bringing this to my attention. Incredibly offensive and ill-conceived ad campaign that must cease, post-haste. These are, for all intents and purposes, sacred sites, not marketing props @valleyeyewear.— Jasmin Mujanović (@JasminMuj) June 30, 2018
This company, @valleyeyewear, is making a profit on the monuments to the victims of fascism. On locations of the mass war crimes committed during the WW2. And @VladaRH and @MVEP_hr are, of course, not doing anything about it. Shame, shame, shame, all of you! pic.twitter.com/vBDcl0oY6R— Marko Jurčić (@markojurci) July 3, 2018
The campaign’s pictures and videos, now deleted, showed models walking past communist-era architecture. However, some of the footage included models in front of the Jasenovac memorial, built in 1966 by architect Bogdan Bogdanovic to honor the camp’s victims. Many social media users deemed the campaign “tasteless” and “disrespectful”.
According to the BBC, Valley Eyewear apologizes for the campaign and claims it did not know the place was a death camp at the time the campaign was shot, as the footage was taken after the memorial’s visiting hours. FashionUnited has contacted Valley Eyewear for comment, but the brand hasn’t replied until the publication of this article.