While dozens of neo-fascist protests are taking place in north Italy, sparking grave concern regarding the growing power of the extreme right, advertisers for a clothing store in south Italy have decided to hang giant posters featuring an image of Adolf Hitler.

 

The advertisement for the jeans company 'New Form' in Palermo reads "Change your style, don't follow your leader." The '"leader" in this case was none other than the Fuhrer, featured on giant billboards sporting a pink Nazi uniform, where a red heart replaced the usual chilling swastika on his arm band.

 

The advertising campaign has riled up leftist and partisan circles in Italy, and sparked protest among residents of Palermo.

 

"We do not understand how the civil authorities allowed the store to display these types of billboards and we demand their immediate removal," wrote the partisan organization of Sicily to Mayor Diego Cammarata.

 

"This is an insult to the principles of our constitution and to the feelings of our citizens," said a member of the opposition in the city council. Some citizens appealed directly to the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano to request his help with the removal of the advertisements.

 

Representatives of the advertising agency that distributed the posters said that they actually meant to ridicule the Fuhrer and to encourage young people not to be influenced by other people when they are choosing their personal style and viewpoints. They said that they will soon switch the image of Hitler with China's Communist leader Mao Zedong.