Berlin has eschewed polite public messages about the coronavirus in favor of a more direct reminder of the rules by turning the bird over for people without masks.

An advertisement published in local newspapers by the German Senate as part of a public information campaign shows an elderly woman introducing her outstretched middle finger to the camera, next to the words: “Finger shaking for all those without a mask: we are sticking to the bases of the corona.”

In a city you are proud of Berliner Schnauz – A spokesperson for “Visit Berlin”, the tourism agency that developed the campaign, said the “Berlin Goeb” public service messages were coarse but heartfelt and could not bear morals from above.

“We wanted to use language that fits the Berlin personality and underscores the tragic state of the epidemic – and we were able to,” the spokesperson told The Guardian.

The idea of ​​an angry retiree is part of a broader campaign that kicked off in September with a series of typographic posters in German, English, Turkish and Arabic, with similar but less offensive slogans such as “persuade. To keep the lights from going out.”

In the past, Berlin’s public transport company BVG has won several awards for an ad campaign adopting the image of the capital as the shameful emerging out of a province that prides itself on competence and respect rather than an apology for it.

One BVG advertisement tongue in cheek He told travelers that the season ticket price was fully justified because closing the bus door to the passenger’s face required extensive training.

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However, the new Coronavirus campaign, coming from the city government, included a change of tone that did not satisfy all Berliners.

The full crop of advertising

The full crop of the ad with the message: “Finger shaking for those without a mask.” Photo: Visit Berlin

Kay Wegener, the local leader of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, has criticized the Senate, which is run by a coalition of Social Democrats, the Left Party and the Greens. “It’s too dangerous for stupid jokes,” he said.

The center-right Liberal Democrats general secretary said the campaign was “neither funny nor unorthodox, but arrogant and insulting.” One independent delegate said that he had filed charges of “inciting the people.”

Local newspaper Tagesspiegel said the campaign may already have achieved its goal. “In spite of everything, it is easier to understand than the ninth extension of Decree A,” the newspaper said in its newsletter.

Visit Berlin said it currently does not plan to use the photo with the angry retiree again.