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Procter & Gamble pulls detergent from German stores over unintentional neo-Nazi code

Germany Hitler Detergent-1.jpg

An Ariel liquid detergent bottle with an '18' on it sits in Berlin Germany, Friday, May 9, 2014. Detergent manufacturer Procter & Gamble has kicked up a froth in Germany after unintentionally placing a neo-Nazi code on promotional packages for Ariel washing powder. The use of Nazi slogans in public is banned in Germany, which neo-Nazis often try to circumvent by using codes. '18' stands for Adolf Hitler. (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop)The Associated Press

Detergent manufacturer 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 soccer jersey.

The use of Nazi slogans in public is banned in Germany, which neo-Nazis often try to circumvent 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 Friday 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."