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10 January 2018, 07:11
Two Facebook posts by a pub in Darlington have been banned for using Nazi imagery to advertise a German food night.
The first appeared on the Facebook page of the Buck Inn in September - stating it was host a German food night.
It featured the slogan "Don't Mention ze War" - a reference to Fawlty Towers - and a smiling face photoshopped onto Adolf Hitler's body.
The Advertising Standards Authority said the text of the headline and the colour scheme resembled the "stylisation and colours typical of Nazi imagery".
The second post, days later, showed that the Buck Inn had updated its Facebook profile picture to an image of a newspaper article about the German night poster, which was headlined "Pub's German night 'Nazi' poster criticised."
People commented on the post - making jokes about the Holocaust.
Three people complained to the ASA that the ads were offensive.
The Buck Inn said the original post was inspired by an episode of Fawlty Towers and was intended to be lighthearted and humorous.
The pub said the ad was not promoting the Nazi party and was not intended to "mock" the Second World War in any way.
The ASA acknowledged the phrase "Don't mention the war" was a "fairly well known" quote from Fawlty Towers.
But it considered the use of a Nazi soldier wearing a swastika, and performing a Nazi salute, trivialised the events of WW2 and the actions of the Nazi Party.
It also said the ad appeared to link German culture with Nazi Germany and the war.
It ruled that the ads must not appear again, adding: "We told the Buck Inn to ensure that they did not cause serious or widespread offence by using Nazi references or imagery in their advertising, or by trivialising the events of the Second World War and actions of the German Nazi party.
"We also told the Buck Inn to ensure that comments made by other users on their Facebook page, which in themselves were likely to cause serious or widespread offence, were not 'liked'."
Buck Inn owner Craig Harker said: "This is political correctness gone mad. The world's gone absolutely bonkers if this is deemed offensive. It's a poster for a German night which was hugely successful.
"The regulars laughed it off and took the poster in the lighthearted, fun way that I intended. As long as business is good I'll continue to market my businesses however I see fit and let the PC brigade continue to do their jobs."