A diplomatic row has blown up between Kiev and Amsterdam over a Dutch TV ad, which uses erotic images of allegedly Ukrainian women.
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry is in an uproar of indignation over the above ad. Meanwhile in the Netherlands, diplomats totally ignore the problem.
The advertisement is titled "Keep Him Home", and is based on the premise that Ukrainian women are promiscuous and very sexy. In the ad, the Netherlands Energy Company offers a free beer tap to customers who sign up for its services.
The idea is to get Dutch women to keep their husbands home instead of allowing them to go to the Euro 2012 football championship in June this year. The championship will be held in Ukraine and Poland. Women should therefore get their husbands the free beer tap, and they won't have to move from the couch.
In the clip, a Google search is done for "Ukrainian women" which brings up a whole load of photos of sexy women.
To be fair, searching for any nationality in combination with the word "women" will come up with pretty much the same display. However, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has really lost it, and blames the Dutch for humiliating their women and also for discrimination on the grounds of national origin.
The Ukraine Foreign Ministry's press secretary, Aleksandr Dikusarov stated: “We condemn that sort of advertisement and we will demand the clip to be taken off the air.”
Ukraine's Ambassador to the Netherlands, Oleksandr Horin calls it "humiliating and discriminating”, and he has already been in touch with the Dutch Football Federation.
However, the Federation has disassociated itself from the ad, saying it was never told of the clip's content and even said that the use of the Federation's logo in the advert is unlawful.
Several complaints have been lodged with the Commission of Advertising Ethics of the Netherlands.
Meanwhile the Dutch Energy Company (Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij), who commissioned the advert are very pleased with the results: “With this commercial, we took 'celebrity endorsement' in Dutch commercials to the “next level”. Our company is known for its celebrity campaigns and it seems the new message is also very suitable,” according to Pieter Schoen, director of the company.
In fact, the result of the diplomatic scandal is only giving the advert even wider exposure.
The advert is currently being aired by Dutch television channels and has now been published on YouTube.
The Dutch Foreign Ministry has made no comments on the incident so far.