Credit card giant VISA Inc. on Thursday pledged to review its advertising policy after a public uproar last week when its ads were seen as a lead sponsor of Egypt’s El Kebar magazine, which published a lengthy article presenting myths-as-fact about the Jewish blood libel – that human blood is a key ingredient of Passover matzah.
Nehmat Baradhy, a VISA spokesperson in Egypt, said, “We can confirm that the Visa-branded third party advert in El Kebar magazine has been removed.”
The ad, placed by a third-party, featured a VISA campaign for the upcoming World Cup.
“When Visa was made aware of the intolerant nature of the content, we worked to have it removed,” Baradhy said. “This took longer than anticipated due to the holiday weekend.”
“We regret that our brand has been associated with this type of content and we condemn intolerance of any kind,” Baradhy said. “We would like to thank cardholders for alerting us to this issue and for giving us an opportunity to act. We will review our advertising policy to see if there are any changes we can make to improve it.”
The article, ‘The Jewish Bloodsuckers On Passover,’ by Egyptian journalist Firnas Hafzi, was translated by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, and tried to tie the 1840 Damascus blood libel to vampire stories it said were written and produced by Jews to confuse the world about these crimes that may have been the cause behind thousands of unsolved missing persons cases.
Jews, however, have noted that beyond being fanciful, the truth of the ‘blood libel’ myth and its related stories is negated by the most basic facts of kashrut.
“Given that kashrut forbids eating food with blood in it and that using anything but flour and water renders matzah unfit for Passover, there are already 2 reasons why this is completely impossible,” said Zvi, a commenter on the Elder of Ziyon blog, which flagged the story last week.