Turkish Cosmetics Company Accidentally Uses Picture Of Terrorist In Hair Removal Ad

A Turkish company recently found itself in the awkward position of having featured a terrorist in one of its ads. Former al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, known as the “principal architect” of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, is shown in an ad that, according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News, advises Turkish men, “Waiting won’t get rid of that hair!” or more literally translated, “The hair will not go away because you keep waiting!”

Mohammed is currently being held in Guantánamo Bay, says Hurriyet, and faces the death penalty if convicted. The cosmetics company behind the ad says it had no idea that he was a terrorist, instead claiming that it chose the image of Mohammed (taken after his capture in 2003) because of his hairiness.

We didn’t know that he was a terrorist. This image is in popular use in Turkish memes on the Internet. The guy is quite hairy, so we thought his body was a good fit for our ad,” Mehmet Can Yıldız, a company representative, told Hurriyet. “We didn’t want to imply anything political. We didn’t know that it could become an international story. I repeat: We featured him for his hair, not terrorism.”

This incident should serve as a warning to all cosmetics companies and hair-removal-product manufacturers: The next time you decide to use a photo of a random hairy man in your ads, make sure he’s not a terrorist.