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'Paging Dr. Mengele. Paging Dr. Mengele...'

When 'German Engineering' Yields the Wrong Associations

By Published on .

Here's a letter from a reader:

Does the VW Routan TV campaign with Brooke Shields bother you at all? The line about "having babies for German engineering" creeps me out. Are the folks at Crispin Porter & Bogusky TRYING to remind us of the Nazis' human engineering evils?

Obviously, the answer is no. Crispin Porter & Bogusky is not trying to elicit the most grotesque echoes of the Holocaust.

But, either due to an institutional tin ear or vast histroical ignorance, they've somehow managed to do it anyway. The question is: How could the client not notice? Presented these boards, the Germans should have said "Nein, nein, nein. Bitte, nein."
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