Germany scraps ads hyping East’s poverty

Eastgermany Why outsource your labor solely to Southeast Asian sweatshops when you could set up a perfectly good East German sweatshop? That argument, which I’m paraphrasing, was the gist of a recent campaign by Invest in Germany. The development agency hoped to lure businesses from the U.S., China and Japan to economically depressed former East Germany. According to the Financial Times, the ads promoted “wages up to 30 percent below western German standards and low unionization rates.” Not surprisingly, the campaign didn’t sit well with East German Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee, who said he’s all for promoting the region, but maybe not by celebrating it as a Dickensian gravel pit with an easily exploited working class. (Again, I paraphrase.) For now, the campaign’s been scrapped, but surely it will be reborn with a more uplifting message. Maybe something like “East Germany: Our broken dreams are your bottom line.” Photo via Uncyclopedia.

—Posted by David Griner