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Germans in lather over 'Nazi code' on washing powder

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An Ariel liquid detergent bottle with an '18' on it sits in Berlin Germany

An Ariel liquid detergent bottle with an '18' on it sits in Berlin Germany

An Ariel liquid detergent bottle with an '18' on it sits in Berlin Germany

Detergent maker Procter & Gamble has prompted anger in Germany after unintentionally placing a neo-Nazi code on promotional packages for Ariel washing powder.

Outraged shoppers have posted pictures online of Ariel boxes featuring a large number "88" on a white football jersey.

The use of Nazi slogans in public is banned in Germany, which neo-Nazis often try to get round by using codes.

They use "88" to represent the phrase "Heil Hitler," because "H'' is the eighth letter of the alphabet. Similarly, "18" is used to stand for "A.H." or Adolf Hitler.

Procter & Gamble acknowledged today that the number was "unintentionally ambiguous."

Spokeswoman Melanie Schnitzler said the company has stopped shipping the offending powder, as well as a liquid detergent that was being promoted as "Ariel 18."

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