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Subaru ad makes light of West Bank price tag attacks

The lengths to which corporate capitalism will go to make an extra buck make never ceases to amaze me. Knowingly crossing the lines is the easiest way to get attention these days.

A Facebook friend said he found this advertisement in a Yedioth Aharonot paper he was reading today and took a shot of it with his iPhone:

Subaru ad (photo: Ari Remez)

In typical price tag style graffiti, on a brick wall that looks pretty much like any brick wall you would find belonging to your typical West Bank mosque, the words “Price list tag” are sprayed in blue. In Hebrew, it’s a similar wordplay: Tag Mechir = Price Tag; Tag Mechiron = Price list Tag.

Under that, it tells of Subaru’s new sale in Israel:

“Subaru, in a radical trade-in deal:
Get full price list price for your car,
and leave with a new Subaru
3-16 of February”

At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes, and didn’t believe it was real.

But then I found the ad on the web:

Some of you out there probably think this is funny. You might want to have second thoughts on that.


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    1. Danny

      Similar to HOT’s commercial about bombing Iran. I guess the next commercial will feature an Arab getting a tear gas canister in the face (“you’ve got to have a hole in your head not to want one!”)

      Reply to Comment
    2. Philos

      Happily I can say that when I the weekend edition of the Yediot had made it’s round my extended family during the post-Friday dinner lethargy there was wholesale derision at this gimmick. “Boosha veh cherpa”

      Reply to Comment
    3. AYLA

      no. way.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Shelly

      I would dig a little deeper into this one.
      Who is the advertising agency? And does the Subaru company know that this is how they are being represented? I’m sure that Subaru is a substantial account ($$) and it would please me to no end to have it removed from the slimebags that created this despicable ad.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Laurent Szyster

      Is this add as offensive to you as the one picturing women is to hassidim ?

      Or do you simply object to fun made at the expenses of price-taggers ?

      “One can laugh at anything, but not with everybody”

      PS: moral outrage at some adds is itself laughable, as they generaly are meant to be sweet lies, told forcefully to sell things people don’t need.

      Reply to Comment
    6. About a year or so ago, Subaru Israel had a facebook wall post with a picture of a Subaru colliding with one or two young boys – I think it was in Silwan, perhaps one of the other neighborhoods under settler attack.

      At the time, loud web-based protests persuaded Subaru Israel to retract the publication. I seem to recall very lame excuses (my interaction with this was via Twitter, and I did not save screenshots).

      Interesting that the same company should be involved in a similar variety of racist messaging.

      Reply to Comment
    7. The true problem is the acceptance of the phrase “Price Tag” instead of the true word – Pogrom.

      The use of this term has allowed many to decry any political graffiti as being a “price tag” graffiti. Regardless of their origin, intent or message. And this how “price tag” used in everyday speech.

      Even the writer of this article opens with the words “In typical price tag style graffiti”. There is no “typical” style for such graffiti. There is only graffiti that is part of pogrom and graffiti that is not.

      Graffiti that calls “death to Arabs” or “You will finish like Rabin” or spraying “Mohammad is a pig” on a mosque or any calls for racial violence or graffiti AS an act of violence – are pogroms. Otherwise its just graffiti.

      “Price tag” is a misnomer. A euphemism. The implication the term is that of payback. Of retribution. That is not the case. These are wanton acts of state- and community-sanctioned violence.

      No, I don’t think the ad’s funny. “Price tag” was tailored by the media precisely to be a socially accepted term to refer to pogroms. As such it can find its way into ads. I think people’s acceptance of this misnomer is what’s sad.

      ‘Pogrom’ is still used in Israeli media when referring to the deaths in a recent Egyptian football match.

      Ami’s piece while enlightening about what is (sadly) socially acceptable in Israel, is also (sadly) codifying the use of this term and its mis-implications.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Arnon sounds right. “Price tag” suggests a due result, not an illegal act. The term is either neutral or biased in favor of those making such tags, for the State is responsible, not them. Doublespeak is becoming incredibly common in your land.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Hey, we’re Jews. We’ve been making Holocaust jokes literally since the time we were in Auschwitz. We make tasteless jokes about really bad things – that’s what we do. And when the goyim come up with good Holocaust or anti-Semitic jokes, we laugh at those, too, if they’re funny. We’ve always had an Anti-Defamation League telling us not to laugh, and we’ve always laughed. “We” meaning most of the Jews I’ve known, anyway.
      I don’t object to making “price tag” jokes, any more than I object to similar jokes at the Jews’ expense. I just object to this ad on two grounds: (1) tasteless jokes like this should not be used to sell stuff, especially when the whole point is to get free advertising like in this article; and (2) it wasn’t funny.

      Reply to Comment
    10. AYLA

      Arnon *is* right, and for Subaru to take what is already a euphemism to a level of satire is sick. I do want to know, per Shelley’s comment, if Subaru even knows about this, or if some private Israeli Subaru dealer is doing this in Subaru’s name. Honestly, I’m confused about why we’re debating about this. If there were attacks on, say, synagogues, and they were called “price tag” attacks to get back at something related to resisting the occupation/oppression of Jews, or protecting private Jewish homes, or etc., and then some big company made a satirical ad in reference to synagogues being burned using the term “price tag” in some way they seemed to deem clever, there’d be a huge public, anti-semitism decree and boycott so fast and so loud, that company would have sold its last car.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Robert Soran - Schwarz

      Political correctness never made anyone move a single step forward or be happy.
      And such an ad doesn’t deserve any other attention than the from someone looking for a new car.

      We shouldn’t be crusaders, because then we start to put a price tag, too, on everything, including words.

      Better use a price tag reference for ads then against mosques, trees and … people.

      Reply to Comment