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Henkel withdraws toilet freshener after Ukraine takes offence12th of September 2013
German consumer goods company Henkel has pulled a toilet freshener from the eastern European market after Ukrainians complained it looked like the former Soviet republic's flag.
A television advertisement for the Bref Duo Stick freshener run in Russia caught the attention of Ukrainians - many of whom watch Russian television.
In the ad, the yellow-and-blue freshener which is shaped like a small flag is put under the toilet rim.
Tore Birol, Henkel's general manager for laundry and home care products in Ukraine, told Reuters the company had pulled the product within three days of seeing the complaints.
"We are very sorry if people were offended by the design of our new product," he said. "We stopped the production, distribution and television advertising (of the product)."
Birol said the freshener, which had been marketed in central and eastern Europe but not in Ukraine, was colored yellow to represent its lemon scent and blue to symbolize water and hygiene.