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IWOOT.com makes Anne Frank gaffe

Writing her diary while hiding from the Nazis in 1940s Amsterdam, Anne Frank probably didn't expect that in years to come her words would become a source of hope to millions around the world. Nor, perhaps, that they would be used to sell remote-controlled robots.

PC Advisor went to IWantOneOfThose.com's Christmas party last night, and it was very enjoyable indeed. We were shown 'piano hand' gloves that allow you to tinkle the ivories on any nearby surface, electronic cigars for apparently legal indoor smoking and a nutcracker in the shape of Margaret Thatcher. And we were of course plied with booze and nibbles.

Each of the gadgets and gifts on display was captioned with a brief quotation from a famous writer, generally on the subject of 'giving'. Fine.

One of the quotations, unhappily, was by Anne Frank. That's right, the Anne Frank who died in Belsen weeks before it was liberated by British soldiers. The diarist whose words of endurance and sacrifice symbolise to generations of readers the triumph of the human spirit amid the most appalling ordeals. The Anne Frank who, when she wrote that "No one has ever become poor by giving" apparently meant that we should all be good consumers and buy a load of trinkets we don't need.

Now, the last thing this blogger wants is to turn into one of those dreadful people who go around looking for things to be offended by on other people's behalf. This isn't the end of the world.

We don't want to Ban This Sick Filth or for anyone to get in trouble. We haven't seen these words on any official marketing material, leading us to presume they were for the jaded eyes of journalists alone. But things have come to a pretty pass when companies feel it's acceptable to hijack the words of teenage Holocaust victims to hawk their products.

We contacted IWOOT's PR company for comment, and hope to let you know their response in due course.

Update: IWOOT's PR representatives have been in touch.

"The Art of Giving theme that we chose for the event was to focus on the act of giving itself and putting time and thought into the gifts you give," a spokesperson commented to PCA. "We chose a number of quotes for the event from different sources to reflect the act of giving. These quotes were not meant to be used as marketing tools for specific products but rather as additional information on giving in general.

"Of course, we appreciate that Anne Frank was not writing about remote-control robots when she wrote 'No one has ever become poor by giving', nor did we mean to imply that she was."

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