LA firm under fire for using Birkenau photo for marketing

Economist services company displays image of guard tower and barbed wire fence to highlight its work ethic

Image of Birkenau guard tower used on the Econ One website (screen capture: Econ One)
Image of Birkenau guard tower used on the Econ One website (screen capture: Econ One)

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Econ One, a Los Angeles-based company, began using a photo from the Birkenau death camp in its advertising.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum was consulting with its lawyers after the litigation and business consulting firm published on its website an image of barbed wire and a guard tower from Birkenau .

Museum employees noticed the image on Friday.

Bartosz Bartyzel, a museum spokesman, told the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper that the attorneys will check to see if using the photo violates copyright laws.

“Using Birkenau is disgusting and immoral,” Bartyzel said.

The text under the photo reads: “Great work is the only kind that’s okay with us. It takes management of the entire work process. Communicating with clients every step of the way. Committing to a budget, then keeping expectations aligned with what’s really happening so there are no surprises. And efficiently staffing each case to keep costs down. Because when it comes to client service, okay… just isn’t. At least not for our clients.”

Econ One did not responded to a JTA request seeking comment on the image.

A year ago, the Estonian company GasTerm used an image from Auschwitz in an advertisement. GasTerm representatives said at the time that they wanted to show the gas they produced was not poisonous.

In January 2012, a gym in Dubai used an image from Auschwitz with the tag line “Kiss your calories goodbye.”

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