Distant cousin to Winnie the Pooh?
That Chewbacca look-alike in the advertisement above is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man dubbed as the “9/11 Mastermind.”
While he will forever be known as one of the worst human beings ever because of the devastation he brought to our native soil, in the country of Turkey, he’s known as something else: Spokesperson.
The ad is for Epila Hair Removal. The call-to-action headline in Turkish means “Waiting won’t get rid of that hair.” The tool is that guy.
(It’s Veterans Day, so let’s have a round of applause that he’s currently in custody. Just putting that out there.)
Yes, Sheikh Mohammed was chosen to represent a company because of his obscene amount of body hair, and no one at the company thought there would be a problem with that choice.
According of Hurriyet Daily News, their bad.
“We didn’t know that he was a terrorist. This image is in popular use in Turkish memes on the Internet. The guy is quite hairy, so we thought his body was a good fit for our ad,” Mehmet Can Yıldız, a representative for the cosmetics company, said.
How in the red, white, and blue hell can you not know that this guy is the face of 9/11?
Earlier this year, some out-of-touch kid was in charge of social media for American Apparel and thought an image of the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding was a really cool firework display. That mistake prompted a similar reaction.
Anytime you are in charge of any public communications tools/forums, some basic research is required. “Didn’t know he was a terrorist?” That can’t be an acceptable excuse, can it?!
“We didn’t want to imply anything political. We didn’t know that it could become an international story. I repeat: We featured him for his hair, not terrorism,” Yıldız said.
Here’s how it almost certainly went down: someone googles “hairy guy” and this dude shows up on the first page. He’s perfect, except for that one BIG problem. For the record, we feel like a pic of Tom Selleck from his peak Magnum P.I. days would have been a better selection.
Sure, it would have cost the company. But so will this choice.