Wednesday, February 15, 2006

InterContinental expunges Israel

Blogger Zalmi Unsdorfer reports that the InterContinental Hotels Group has wiped Israel from the map in its advertising. Kudos to Zalmi for breaking the story and posting scanned pictures of the ads.

Picture from

According to the company's web site, InterContinental is the world's largest hotelier by number of rooms. The group, headquartered in the UK, is behind not only InterContinental Hotels but also Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and other chains.

Here is an excerpt from the hotel group's "Overview: Corporate Responsibility" (pdf, top of second page):
Wherever we operate we seek to maintain an apolitical stance....
Wonder if InterContinental views its newfound nonrecognition of Israel as apolitical?

Interestingly, InterContinental does appear to operate hotels in Israel, and the firm's web site does identify these properties as being in Israel, as this screenshot shows:

Screenshot from
(Click on image to enlarge in separate window.)

So why did the firm run a four-page magazine ad with Israel blatantly missing from the map? I might (unfortunately) expect this behavior in the Arab world, but a big British multinational should know better.

(Hat tip: MR.)