Angie in her undies turns heads in Berlin

a giant mocked-up image of Chancellor Angela Merkel in a matching purple bra and knicker set. "Deutschland boober alles"

Berliners on the city's main shopping drag, the "Ku'damm", were greeted Thursday with an unusual sight: a giant mocked-up image of Chancellor Angela Merkel in a matching purple bra and knicker set.

The 100-metre-square (1,000-square-foot) image of the half-naked world leader is part of a nationwide advertising campaign for an underwear company aiming to cash in on the success of a "cash-for-clunkers" scheme for old cars.

Punters trading in their old underwear will get a five-euro (seven-dollar) discount on a new pair, the advert promises, under the slogan: "The country needs new undies."

The electronic advert -- on a busy road junction in the heart of former West Berlin -- was certainly causing a stir on the streets, with scores of people taking snapshots of the billboard with cameras or mobile phones.

"I think it's great. Brilliant. It's a positive signal for the economic situation in Germany," said a 54-year-old who gave his name of Meier adding he would "definitely" trade in his old pants at the first opportunity.

A 37-year-old called Bebe said: "I think it's fantastic that you can look at something funny when you're waiting for the bus."

Merkel herself was tight-lipped on the subject. "The chancellor's office does not want to comment on the campaign," a spokesman told AFP.

This is not the first time the 54-year-old chancellor -- affectionately known as "Angie" -- has made waves, intentionally or not, with her dress.

Last year, she made front-pages around the world after wearing a revealing low-cut dress to the opening of the Oslo Opera House prompting headlines such as "Merkel's Weapons of Mass Destruction" from British tabloid the Daily Mail and "Deutschland boober alles" from media gossip website Gawker.

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