Pro-diversity party's scrapped plan for fake PVV ad infuriates Wilders

In the run-up to the parliamentary election last year, pro-diversity party DENK worked on a fake PVV advertisement aimed at setting the anti-Islam party in a bad light, NPO Radio 1 program De Nieuws BV reports. DENK ultimately decided not to use the idea. PVV leader Geert Wilders is furious and is considering pressing charges against DENK.

The online ad consisted of a picture of Wilders with the text: 'After 15 March we will purify the Netherlands', according to De Nieuws BV. 

Farid Azarkan, former campaign leader and current faction chairman for DENK, confirmed that the party indeed devised this ad as a way to warn people about the PVV's ideas. The party planned to later reveal that it wasn't a PVV ad, but a DENK one. But the party leader decided within three days not to implement the campaign because it went too far, Azarkan said, according to NOS.

De Nieuws BV reports that a similar test advertisement, with the same effect, was put online, mainly directed abroad. A spokesperson for OptimusAdd told the program that the test was meant to see if advertising platform GoogleAdwords' algorithms would allow the message. 

Azarkan confirmed that he gave permission for a test ad, but according to him, the company "apparently" did the test against DENK's instructions.

In a response, also posted on Twitter, Geert Wilders called DENK's plan "shocking". "That you campaign hard against each other, with strong posters about each other, that is allowed. But that you pretend to be a different party, that is forgery, that simply cannot happen", Wilders said. "And then with texts as if we as PVV would want to purify the Netherlands. Suppose they went through with it, then the Netherlands would have thought that was our position. And that is of course anything but our position. It is therefore filthy. I can't imagine that a party would sink so far. Again: campaigning hard, fine, but just pretending to be someone else is thirty steps too far." Wilders is considering pressing charges, according to NOS.

DENK is also furious bout the De Nieuws BV broadcast. On Tuesday the party already accused two journalist of persuading a former DENK contractor to come up with false information about the party, NOS reports. The party is considering pressing charges against the two journalist. Azarkan called it tendentious reporting that paints DENK in a wrong light. Azarkan is also angry about the fact that an interview with journalists from De Nieuws BV appears to have been filmed at DENK's faction rooms. DENK filed a complaint about this with the daily management of the Tweede Kamer.