Controversy erupts over German Anarchist Pogo Party's campaign ad

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Thursday, September 8, 2005

The German Anarchist Pogo Party ran a campaign ad (Download here -- NSFW) which, instead of discussing the party's politics, featured various party scenes set to a heavy metal soundtrack. The spot included revellers smashing furniture, pouring beer down each other's throats, and women dancing topless. The spot ends with the proclamation: "My vote for the rubbish".

The ARD refused to air the ad because it "violates the human dignity" and showed only a heavily censored version at an earlier airtime. The Party then sued the station and got an injuction by an appeal court in Münster only minutes before the next ad was due, forcing the ARD to air the spot uncensored, right before their evening news flagship.

The ad has offended a number of people, but has likely gained the party nationwide attention among its younger demographics who could access campaign websites online (appd.de). The Hamburg-based APPD and every other party is entitled by law to free television airtime on Germany's public TV Station ARD and ZDF for its advertisements because it is an officially registered political party competing for the upcoming federal elections. Its next ad is scheduled for Monday night, although broadcasting authorities may again censor the ad.

The party has a membership of approximately 750 -- German newspapers posit that the ads will have little impact on the upcoming election.

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