Russian Ad Agency Puts Up ‘Fascist’ Billboards

05.18.11 Marina Galperina

Blond, blue-eyed, determined sportsmen and women are glaring down from giant billboards in Moscow, promoting a luxury housing complex for the upcoming 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia and this has some people worried.

In response to complaints, Doping-Pong, the ad agency that created the campaign, denied claims that their Aryan-like avatars are Nazi-inspired.

When the ads went up, anarchist art collective Voina tweeted of the billboard’s “openly fascist style” and superstar wonderkid designer Artemy Lebedev said it looked both “neo-Hitlerite” and “neo-Stalinist” but, ahem, “creative.” Not helping: Doping-Pong employs an openly ultra-right artist Katya Zashtopik who blogged Hitler a Happy Birthday this year and there are swastikas on some of their other projects.

Granted, if Shepard Fairey can build his career off Soviet Constructivist art, Nazi propaganda art can be visual fodder, but really, guys… With neo-Nazis, skinheads and racist nationalists rioting and spewing hate all over the former USSR, let’s draw a big fat line between acceptable Nazi kitsch and this Aryan ad nonsense.

Anyway, these billboards look tacky.