The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is using an election ad on Facebook targeting Muslims, even though one of the candidates had promised that his party would not use it in the election campaign.
The poster shows a piglet with the text "Islam? Doesn't fit in with our cuisine" — alluding to the fact that devout Muslims do not eat pork.
Last month, AfD's Alexander Gauland told Bild am Sonntag that the poster would not be used during the campaign — not because of its controversial message but because "children would feel horrified about the idea that the cute little pig would be slaughtered for eating."
But according to a research by BuzzFeed News, t-online.de, and WhoTargetsMe on on the election campaign ads, AfD has continued to use the poster on Facebook — including on its official page. The post featuring the ad has already been shared 1,300 times, and 400 people have commented. What's different on this ad, unlike other ads the party has been posting on its social accounts, is that it doesn't feature the AfD logo.
The lower blue background area at the bottom is always reserved for the party's logo, its slogans, or pictures of the candidates. All these elements are missing here.
The poster featuring the pig is also advertised for purchase on the official AfD store.
The usage of the ad without the party logo on social media platforms indicates that there is no consensus among AfD members on how the party wants to present itself, and that it has allowed its candidates to choose how they want to campaign during the election. They are free to use the election posters promoted by the federal group, or, as an alternative, they may use campaign posters created by the party's Bavarian wing, which is known to take a more aggressive stance, using slogans like "Protect borders!" and "Leave the eurozone!"
AfD has not responded to requests for comment from BuzzFeed News.
This post was translated from German.
Marcus Engert ist Reporter bei BuzzFeed News Deutschland und lebt in Leipzig und Berlin. Verschlüsselter Kontakt: per Mail mit PGP-Key http://bit.ly/2uy3ai6 oder über die Threema-ID F8H994R7. Signal auf Anfrage.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.