Published: Thu, July 20, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Audi Pulls Offensive Car Ad in China

Audi Pulls Offensive Car Ad in China

Audi is receiving backlash online after it recently aired an advertisement in China that essentially compared women to secondhand vehicles, according to The Washington Post.

In the 34-second commercial, a wedding is unceremoniously interrupted when the groom's mother charges down the aisle and grabs the bride's face, inspecting her nose, eyes, ears, and mouth before signaling her approval to her son.

The commercial then cuts away to footage of a red Audi sedan zipping along an empty highway, as a man's voice declares: "An important decision must be made carefully".

Some even suggested boycotting Audi, whilst another called it "a awful ad!" and others, "disgusting". "Only with official certification can you be rest assured", says a male voiceover.

On Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, one woman wrote: "Strongly request that this ad is pulled, and for Audi to issue an apology".

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Audi didn't immediately respond to an email, and Ogilvy China declined to comment. He added that the company's local joint venture partner was responsible for marketing in China.

The company can ill afford this speed bump. On Tencent Holdings' popular chat app WeChat, almost half-a-million people mentioned "Audi second hand car" on Tuesday. They build shoddy cars and make a huge profit in China, and now release such a vulgar commercial.

FAW-Volkswagen Automotive sold 253,635 Audi cars in the first half of 2017, down 12.2 percent from previous year.

I suspect that one or two people at Audi China and its ad agency will soon be undergoing a rigorous inspection themselves. A year ago a Chinese firm apologised over an advert for detergent in which a black man was stuffed head-first into a washing machine before emerging as a light-skinned Asian.

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