Even in this age of nearly omnipresent advertising, there are still some places where it’s in very bad taste to force coupons on the public, like outside the site of a former concentration camp.
According to the Miami Herald, a Burger King franchisee in Germany was in court this week to explain why he allegedly insisted on having his employees distribute coupons and flyers in the parking lot for visitors to the Dachau concentration camp memorial near Munich.
A director for the memorial site tells The Local that the museum has asked the owner of the Burger King franchise to stop placing flyers on the cars of visitors several times to no avail.
Dr. Gabriele Hammermann called the flyering “disrespectful” in a place that many see as “not just a memorial but a cemetery.”
The last straw came in February when employees of the fast food restaurant were seen handing out coupons on a particularly busy day at the memorial. A gate bearing the infamous phrase “arbeit macht frei” (“work will set you free”) had just been returned to the memorial after being stolen in 2014.
The museum says after the incident it reached out to Burger King Germany for assistance. However, the company tells the Local that it was unable to persuade the location owner to reach an agreement.
And so, the two parties met in court this week, where the franchisee said he regretted that the situation had come to court.
The Miami Herald reports this isn’t the first time a fast food chain has used the memorial’s parking lot as its own advertising ground. Back in the ‘90s McDonald’s handed out coupons to visitors. However, in that case the owner stopped the practice when confronted by the museum.