Huanqiu Net reports, a German web site “Ads of the World” posted a condom ad for a company called “Doc Morris Pharmacies”. This commercial uses image of Chinese former chairman Mao Zedong‘s head as a sperm which the condom thwarts. Along with, in the ad series, Image of the Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden, were also used in same fashion. Chinese overseas were extremely angry about this. They think this commercial damaged Chinese people’s feelings. Whoever is responsible must apologize.
Ever since the appearance of the ad in March this year, many oversea Chinese reported to Huanqiu Times. Reporter from Huanqiu found out that the maker of commercial is “Grey Worldwide” the second largest advertisement company in Germany. It has 50 years of history, and 428 branches in 97 countries including China, Shanghai. Huanqiu reporter phoned the company on the 13th, but no one answered the phone due to the Easter holiday.
What triggered most anger is the fact the ad grouped chairman Mao together with Adolf Hitler and Osama bin laden. This ad also received low score on “Ads of the World”; out of 10 points being the best this ad only received 4.5 points.
German Institute of the international media specialist 艾特伯斯 in an interview with Huanqiu said, supposedly the ad’s creative meaning is “even as powerful as Mao Zedong, I will have no fear (condom will stop it)”, to promote the reliability of the condom. However this is a clear violation of the principles of advertising, and it hurt the Chinese people’s feelings. He said that the Chairman Mao beloved by the Chinese people to be grouped with Hitler and Bin Laden is unacceptable. Grey Worldwide apparently wanted to use Chinese leader to make promote them even at the cost of “smearing China”. According to a German newspaper that Deutsche bank has refused to cooperate with Grey Worldwide, because of this incident, they are not satisfied with their creativity.
P.S. Today April 14, 2009, soon after this story hit the Chinese internet, this ad was taken down from http://adsoftheworld.com/