In case your German is rusty, the title of the article is black face... never a good idea. I'm shouting this from the roof tops to anyone who will listen (now you've been warned). This German advertisement for UNICEF is ridiculous. I'm all for pushing the envelope and for testing the comfortable boundaries most people have established for themselves so they don't have to leave their comfort zones, but I would probably drive my vehicle off the Autobahn if I passed this particular billboard.
Black face is one of the most offensive displays I can think of. Anytime I have ever seen it in print or in film it just makes me cringe. It is horribly offensive and is almost without fail never used in a way that can be used to make a point or ethically justified. The longer you look at the child in this advertisement the more angry I become. Obviously he is far from being the one to blame. You have to figure there were at least a few different people who looked at this ad and approved it running in various locals throughout Germany or German speaking Europe.
I think a more appropriate advertisement might be the UNICEF executive(s) who approved this ad with egg all over their face(s). Even corporations that are endorse an agenda steeped in humanitarian efforts need to be more than careful about the messages they are putting out into the public's conscious. I implore UNICEF to clean-up their act and to produce a less offensive ad.