A YouTube video of an angry man sawing his property in half to sell on ebay turned out to be the work of the German Bar Association.

The video “Fur Laura” showed a fictional character named Martin G cutting items, including his car, in half at the end of his 12-year marriage.

The clip, that went viral, receiving more than 6 million views, was intended to highlight the problem of couples who fail to make provision for their relationship breakdown.

After the story about the video had received coverage worldwide the Deutsche Anwaltauskunft – an online magazine operated by the German Bar Association, put it hands up to the spoof, confessing “We are Martin G.”

It said the idea was to “humorously point to a problem that is not only relevant in Germany: too few married couples take precautions for the case of a possible separation – for example with a marriage contract.”

It also apologised to “everybody who had been teased” by the video.