A leading travel firm is reportedly once again using smiley-face emojis to promote tours to the Auschwitz death camp even after the company was reportedly forced to apologise for doing so in the past.
Hays Travel has apologised for a second time after it was discovered that it once again used the jovial imagery on Facebook to promote the tours, which it listed along with trips to Disneyland and the Grand Canyon.
Hays Travel said: “We are very sorry to have caused offence especially after we tried to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. As soon as this was brought to our attention we immediately removed these posts from Facebook.”
According to the JC, the Advertising Standards Authority said that it took “this particular issue very seriously and recognise that this obviously has the potential to prompt concerns,” adding that its rules say that advertisements “should not contain anything likely to cause harm or offence.” It has the power to order advertisers to remove materials.
Hays Travel has over 450 branches across the UK.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Having already apologised for the grotesque and insulting use of smiley face emojis in its advertising, Hays Travel’s apparent continuation of this practice is either a sign of very disturbing malice or astonishing incompetence. Neither recommend the agency. Not only must Hays apologise again and explain how it has come to continue portraying Auschwitz as some sort of theme park through the use of these emojis, but customers may begin to make up their own minds about whether this is the sort of establishment where they wish to take their business.”
Image credit: JC