P&G Apologizes For Unintentional Neo-Nazi Codes On Laundry Detergent In Germany

When you’re a global company, you’re going to have global problems. But perhaps there could’ve been a few more eyes/brains on a packaging campaign for Ariel laundry detergent from Procter & Gamble in Germany that featured a large white soccer jersey with a large “88” on them. See, because that’s a neo-Nazi code, if you’re in the know.

Clearly P&G wasn’t quite attuned to the finer details of neo-Nazi culture, where those in the know use numbers as codes to get around the ban on Nazi slogans in public.

As the Associated Press explains, “88” is a code for HH, or “Heil Hitler,” as the letter H comes eighth in the alphabet. Similarly, bottles of Ariel with the number “18” are also at issue, because it could stand for “A.H.” or Adolf Hitler.

The company is now apologizing and promising to pull the products, saying “any false connotations” were unintentional after customers complained. A spokesperson said the “88” and “18” designations were meant to convey how many load of laundry a buyer could do with one package.

“We very much regret if there are any false associations and distance ourselves clearly from any far-right ideology,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement.

Detergent pulled in Germany over neo-Nazi code [Associated Press]