Charcuterie shop Ils en Fument du Bon (IFB), near Montreal’s Jean-Talon Market, used images of Adolf Hitler to advertise special meat packages.
Last week, an Eater reader forwarded a screenshot of an online advertisement for four of IFB’s offerings. One of them, the $80 “Kit du Pimp”, features an edited image of Hitler wearing a gold chain, a toque reading “Killin’ It”, and a logo reading “Pimp My Reich”, borrowed from a YouTube video that initially borrowed the phrase from MTV reality show Pimp My Ride. Whether intentional or not, several of the products in the pack are pork-based, and therefore non-kosher.
Unsurprisingly, this attempt at advertising drew harsh criticism — popular Instagram account Fuck No Montreal posted the image with a lengthy caption.
“This is a real thing a restaurant is doing? In 2018? Or any year after 1938?”
The campaign was quickly pulled from Ils en Fument du Bon’s social media last week, with the company posting an apology to Facebook blaming an employee. Writing in French, owner Félipé St-Laurent wrote that “an advertisement in very poor taste featuring our logo has been circulating. It has been deleted...neither IFB nor I endorse this advertisement”.
Speaking to Eater, St-Laurent described the image as something created by an inexperienced student who had been doing social media for the company, and that he had been disgusted by it, but also accepted blame for that employee’s actions. He said he was horrified by the idea that IFB could be associated with far-right neo-Nazi groups like Quebec’s La Meute as a result.
In a reply to an online comment the company also stated that the employee in question no longer worked there.
However, it wasn’t the first time that Hitler had been invoked in IFB’s publicity: A similar image of Hitler with the “Pimp My Reich” logo from 2016 was also still on the company Instagram until late last week. That attempt at a similar advertising campaign appeared to have gone under the radar, with no negative comments. But this time, it was noticed, and a small flurry of negative comments surfaced on IFB’s Facebook.
The company has historically used a fairly brash tone on social media and in advertising — some would say edgy. For example, owner Félipé St-Laurent is described as “pimp de la saucisse” (or “the sausage pimp”) on the company’s website.