Mercedes-Benz deletes controversial ad after Chinese netizen’s aggressive reaction

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New Delhi: Mercedes-Benz is at the center of controversy in China for portraying a model in such make-up that her eyes looked extremely tinkling.

The Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper said the video ad was posted on Mercedes-Benz’s official Weibo account on Saturday, but was later removed due to public outcry against it.

Mercedes-Benz’s video ad was published on its official Weibo account on 25 December, in which the company used male and female models to promote new products. And once again there was heated discussion. Many people from netizens alleged that the makeup reflects Western stereotypes about Asian people,” the newspaper said.

The Chinese mouthpiece said the ad showing the model’s eyes being slanted was evidence of “Western stereotypes about Asians”.

“The image of slanted eyes and a ponytail is a Western stereotype of 19th-century Chinese. It is not an objective description of the Chinese people, but a label based on ideological superiority over West Asians,” the experts said.

This is not the first time the global brand has faced public backlash in China. The list includes brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Haynes and Mauritz among others. Recently Walmart Inc. was in the grip of a storm when Chinese social media alleged that Walmart had stopped selling items from Xinjiang at its Sam’s Club grocery store. Christian Dior SE was also reprimanded for showing a model that the Chinese found inappropriate.

In 2018, Mercedes-Benz had to apologize for quoting the Dalai Lama on Instagram.

First published:December 30, 2021, 1:07 pm

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