according to the Norwegian Heart and Lung Association, A child’s teddy bear could be more deadly than Adolf Hitler, Muammar Gaddafi, and Kim Jong-il combined. In the latest ad, the charity has re-imagined the dictators as cuddle bears to demonstrate the threat toys pose to children as they collect dust.
The Norwegian Heart and Lung Association teamed up with advertising firm Kitchen to launch the controversial campaign. The association also created a special unit, LHL Asthma and Allergy, to research the growing number of kids with asthma and allergies.
The ads feature individual pictures and videos of the teddy bear dictators along with the tagline “Teddy bears can be dangerous”.
“For children, stuffed animals can be just as dangerous as the world’s worst despots,” Kitchen copywriter Bendik Romstad told The Local. “This campaign addresses how dangerous stuffed animals can be if they are not washed regularly.”
The campaign has been attacked for being too extreme and disrespectful to those who died under these dictatorships. On LHL Asthma and Allergy’s Facebook page users have complained:
- Have lost all faith in you after the bad judgment you showed in this campaign. Regards, descendant of the survivors of the Holocaust.
- My children’s teddies haven’t killed anyone, they haven’t torture chambers, they haven’t shot or gassed small children to death and I’m pretty sure they don’t have anything against Jews. Stop comparing teddies with killing sprees!!!
- “Incredibly tasteless and not least disrespectful instrument!! Comparing Hitler’s hatred, racism and ideology which ravaged and destroyed an entire world with dust from teddies??… I’m ashamed.”
The organisation was quick to defend the campaign, saying they wanted “powerful agents” to get the point accross and that the toys are not for sale.