Basketball star’s sausage advert is the ‘Wurst’

One of Germany’s biggest banks has appealed for calm from vegetarians after an advertising spot featuring Dirk Nowitzki eating a peace of meat unleashed a furore on Facebook.

Basketball star's sausage advert is the 'Wurst'
Photo: DPA

The ad for the ING DiBa bank, which started running on German television earlier this month, shows Nowitzki walking into a folksy German sausage shop to the excitement of the workers there.

One woman hands him a slice of Wurst while asking “What did we always used to say?” Nowitzki responds: “It’ll make you big and strong,” as everyone laughs and he eats the sausage.

But animal rights activists were not amused and began bombarding the bank’s Facebook page with angry comments.

“The Nowitzki advertisement represents violence against animals,” one poster wrote. “Even worse, meat is portrayed as a saviour or something that can make you stronger, where studies say something completely different.”

On January 4 the bank posted a message asking for calm and explaining that the spot “has nothing to do, in any way, with advertising for meat or Wurst.

“The idea behind the spot is to tell small stories that describe life,” the appeal said.

“We’ve been watching this with great interest,” ING DiBa spokesman André Kauselmann told The Local.

Moises Mendoza

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German authorities impose second local coronavirus lockdown

Germany on Tuesday placed a second district under lockdown over a coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse, just hours after similar restrictions were imposed for a neighbouring area.

German authorities impose second local coronavirus lockdown
A man wearing a protective suit in the district of Gütersloh after a coronavirus outbreak at a meat plant. Now neighbouring district Warendorf is going into lockdown. Photo: DPA

“In order to protect the population, we are now launching a further safety and security package to effectively combat the spread of the virus,” North Rhine-Westphalia health minister Karl-Josef Laumann said Tuesday, ordering a lockdown for the district of Warendorf.

Authorities had earlier announced similar measures in the neighbouring district of Gütersloh after more than 1,500 workers tested positive for Covid-19 at the slaughterhouse.

Almost 280,000 people live in Warendorf. Businesses and cultural facilities will close, while all schools and daycare centres (Kitas) will also shut their doors.

READ ALSO: Explained – What you need to know about Germany's new local coronavirus lockdowns

In Gütersloh the new lockdown affected 360,000 people living there and will be in place until at least June 30th.

It came after more than 1,500 workers out of a total of nearly 7,000 have tested positive for Covid-19 at the slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrück run by Tönnies.

All workers are currently in quarantine. However, authorities are now turning to tougher rules to try and control the spread of coronavirus.

The new lockdown in Gütersloh means a return to measures first introduced in March, with cinemas, museums, concert halls, bars, gyms, swimming pools and saunas shut down.

However, restaurants can remain open with rules in place.

Schools and Kitas were already closed last week in a bid to control the virus.