x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Nazi-advert gym to donate Dh3,900

A fitness gym that sparked an online protest after posting offensive images has set aside Dh3,900 for charity as an apology.

DUBAI // A gym that sparked an online protest by advertising fitness classes with images of a Nazi concentration camp will donate Dh3,900 to a charity that the gym's founder has yet to determine.

The Circuit Factory in Al Quoz used a black-and-white image of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration camp with the slogan: "Kiss your calories goodbye".

It was one of a number of images used as part of an online campaign last week. The campaign incited protests on Twitter and Facebook, prompting the gym's founder to remove the images and apologise.

The money was collected from all four of the gym's fitness classes that took place over the weekend.

"We made a terrible mistake with the adverts and this is we feel is the right thing to do," said Phil Parkinson, the founder of the two-year-old business.

"I have contacted a British group to help find a suitable charity and I want to send this money to the right people as soon as possible," Mr Parkinson said.

Other adverts in the campaign included pictures of a toilet full of faeces, accompanied by the word "bootcamps".

"It was a mistake to run [the ads] but we want to make clear that we are good people," Mr Parkinson said. "I'm just awaiting confirmation on the charity and the money will be sent immediately."

nhanif@thenational.ae