'Classical Chinese Poem' was Brothel Ad on Respected German Scientific Journal

11 December 2008

Max Planck Institute prides itself for being one of Germany's top scientific institutions, but today, flushed faces redder than the cover to the right most likely plastered the entire editorial board, as they faced a barrage of questions to answer how they picked out the cover of their latest prestigious MaxPlanckForschung journal.

So: was it an ethical issue with a scientific study?  A biased endorsement of fringe sciences?  An error in a double blind randomised control study?

Nope, nope, and nope.  It was better than that.  They printed an ad for a strip club on the cover.

It all started when the institute sought out for an elegant Chinese poem to grace its cover on a special report about China.  What they did not realise, was that the ad translated lusty details on  stripping housewives in a Macau brothel, with text translating to the likes of the following:

With high salaries, we have cordially invited for an extended series of matinées
KK and Jiamei as directors, who will personally lead jade-like girls in the spring of youth,
Beauties from the north who have a distinguished air of elegance and allure,
Young housewives having figures that will turn you on;
Their enchanting and coquettish performance will begin within the next few days.

Right after realising their mistake, Max Planck Institute attempted to forward an email to chinese researchers subscribed to the magazine, claims that a "German sinologist" was consulted prior to printing.  If only he spotted the 2 glaring 'K's in English, which should have indicated something beyond a Chinese Poem. Opps. 

My girlfriend does have a theory that this could be a marketing / PR effort to get their name recognised and increase sales.  After all, we've never heard of them.  Maybe the credit crunch is that bad after all...

3 comments

  • Mike H.
    Max Planck sounds like a German porn star anyway, or have I just been watching to much smutty German jazz? Perhaps they're just trying to get into the 'adult' market with a new, 'niche' range of scientific fetishism?
  • TeflonMan
    Oh mein Gott! The Max Planck Institute certainly don't need to increase sales ... They are comparable to the Royal Society. I sink hats vill roll ...
  • Robert
    What a bunch of planckers.

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