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Belgium – Randstad advert causes outcry

15 January 2014

A television advert from Dutch staffing firm Randstad has created an outcry in Belgium, according to dutchnews.nl. The advert was broadcast on Monday following an episode of the television series ‘In Flemish Fields’ a drama series about a Belgian family coping with the fallout of the First World War.

The advertisement, which reportedly references the First World War, finished with the tagline: “And in order to rebuild everything, Randstad Professionals will find the right project engineer.”

Using the hashtag #ongepast, which translates as inappropriate, viewers of the Belgian drama took to social media site Twitter to voice their anger.

Heidi Vadenbussche of Tourism Flanders wrote: “And the award for most misguided advertising goes to Randstad.”

Wilfried Vandaele, Flemish MP, wrote: “In Flanders Fields publicity Randstad: “to build everything we look for the right project engineer.” Disgusting.”

In response, Randstad is quoted by Nos Television saying that the advertisement was made with care and integrity. “It is not about the war or its victims but about the rebuilding, a positive message.”     

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