Wilders' passionate embrace with Putin shown in banned pro-Ukraine ad

Berlin, East Side Gallery
Graffiti painting "My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love" on the Berlin wall (Photo: Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia Commons). (Graffiti painting "My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love" on the Berlin wall (Photo: Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia Commons))

NS decided to ban a poster showing PVV leader Geert Wilders kissing Russian president Vladimir Putin from its stations. The poster was made by the PvdA's youth division, the Jonge Socialisten, to encourage people to vote for the association agreement with the Ukraine in the referendum on April 6th. ExterionMedia, the advertisement company responsible for posters on NS stations, found the poster too offensive and NS decided to follow their lead. "We consider the stations public places where everyone should feel at home", an NS spokesperson said to broadcaster NOS. "We agreed with Exterion that posters should not be offensive or objectionable. Ultimately Exterion decides." According to NS, Exterion follows the example of the Advertising Code Committee. Bart van Bruggen, chairman of the Jonge Socialisten, thinks NS is overreacting. "Apparently NS is more afraid of the KGB than of the loss of freedom of speech", he said. The kissing poster is based on a graffiti painting on the Berlin wall titled My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love. It depicts Leonid Brezhnev and Eric Honecker in a fraternal embrace, captured in a photograph taken during the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic in 1979.

The rail company also banned an alternative to the ad, which shows Putin and Wilders standing close together. The Jonge Socialisten eventually came up with a third option, which will be hung in railway stations from the end of the month. The third option shows Putin coloring in his territory with a red pencil. "Don't let Putin finish his coloring. Vote for on April 6th", the poster reads. The first two posters will not end up in the dumpster, but will be hung in other places. https://twitter.com/timvanlieshout/status/711602811482599424 https://twitter.com/neetje/status/711610116605407236

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