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Image Courtesy: The Bohemian Blog
International

AUS eyewear company sorry for ad filmed at WWII death camp

07/09/2018
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Valley Eyewear has issued an apology for filming an advertising campaign at a memorial on the site of a World War II-era death camp in Croatia.

The campaign sparked a series of heated complaints on social media, after the Australian company published promotional videos it had shot at Jasenovac, a death camp ran by Croatia’s fascist Ustashe regime during World War II. The BBC reported the ads were taken down after Valley Eyewear received a request from the head of the memorial site.

Valley Eyewear director Mr Michael Crawley explained the video had been shot during a half-hour visit to the site while it was closed.



"We didn’t know it was a death camp at the time. We didn't want to offend anybody, we’re a respectful brand. I apologise to anyone who’s offended."
Michael Crawley, Designer & Creative director of Valley Eyewear

The concrete flower memorial featured at Jasenovac was created by Yugoslav-era sculptor Bogdan Bogdanovic, while another concrete monument by Dusan Dzamonja is also featured in the campaign.

The structures have become known as “Spomeniks” in Croatia, after the word meaning memorial, and the videos featured a model walking through a snow-covered field close to the Jasenovac memorial on a winter’s day.

“I was planning to do a short film on the Spomenik architecture. We knew these had been put in place as symbols of unity and respect,” Crawley told the BBC.

“We didn’t know it was a death camp at the time. We didn't want to offend anybody, we’re a respectful brand. I apologise to anyone who’s offended.”

The Jasenovac memorial bears the names of 83,145 men, women, and children who are believed to have been killed in the former Nazi-led concentration camp, while the US Holocaust Memorial estimates up to 99,000 people were murdered there.

George & Matilda Eyecare
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