Gym uses Auschwitz image as good place to burn calories

By Jessica Elgot, January 6, 2012

A British gym owner who posted an advert for his Dubai fitness centre suggesting Auschwitz was a good place to burn calories has apologised.

Phil Parkinson, founder of The Circuit Factory said he “posted it without giving it my full attention.”
The black and white image shows the train track leading to Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, with the slogan “Kiss Your Calories Goodbye.”

The former Birmingham University student said the image had not been created by a professional marketing agency. “It was the work of a graphic designer - on this occasion, his idea was tasteless and wrong.

“We are just very sorry to have caused offense to anyone - The poster has upset people and that was not our intention at all.”

Furious users took to the sites Facebook and Twitter page to complain. One Twitter use wrote: Apparently you lost your brain trying to lose weight.” Another called it “extraordinarily offensive.”

But some other users called the campaign to remove the poster an “Israeli conspiracy.”

On Twitter, Mr Parkinson said designer who had developed the poster was no longer working with the company. “The creative guy has been told where to go. We won’t be using them again.”

The controversial company launched a “Politically Correct” campaign this week, including pictures of overweight people with the slogan “Few Too Many Mince Pies?”

Last updated: 10:48am, January 6 2012