The Holocaust Historiography Project

Estee Lauder Ads Evoke 'Nazi Image'?

The giant cosmetics firm of Estee Lauder has recently come under fire for some of its advertisements depicting blond models. Critics say the photos “evoke the Nazi image of the perfect race,” according to a report in the weekly Jewish Press of Brooklyn, New York ("Lauder Ads Called Nazi Like,” March 10, 2000). A Lauder company spokesman, however, rejects the charge as “totally ludicrous,” adding that anyone who is familiar with the Lauder name knows that it would never do anything having “Nazi undertones.” The company, which is run by Leonard Lauder, said it might pull ads from the trendy Talk magazine, whose creative director, Oliveri Toscani, made the remarks.

Not only is the Lauder family Jewish, but Leonard’s brother, Ronald Lauder, plays a prominent role in international Jewish-Zionist affairs. He is head of the Jewish National Fund, an important quasi-governmental Israeli agency, the Chairman of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, a powerful Jewish-American organization, and heads the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, which works to advance Jewish interests in Eastern Europe.