The above advertisement for the Citroën C4 was withdrawn in Spain after complaints from some Chinese that it was insulting to the entire nation.
Somehow, I think that’s an exaggeration.
Sure, some folks in the Politburo might be annoyed. But there will be a lot of Chinese who think that Mao Tse-tung is fair game when it comes to advertising humour.
Americans are quite happy to dress up an actor as Lincoln and make a few jokes, and Elizabeth I appeared in Blackadder.
At least neither Abe Lincoln nor QEI was responsible for the deaths of 70 million of their own subjects, managing to butcher more than their enemies were able to.
While it’s true I might get annoyed at the same treatment being given to Confucius, surely a more uniting ﬁgure for Chinese people, chances are I’d shrug it off. The late Pat Morita did plenty of Confucius jokes in Happy Days, and I still watched the series—even when the Fonz became the star.
Having driven the C4—both diesel and petrol models—I can even endorse these cars.
Citroën, don’t buy in for a second that Mao is a universally revered symbol among Chinese, or that we can’t take a joke.
And remember that those Chinese people writing on message boards about how insulted they are at this ad are under the surveillance of the Politburo. Ten years ago, they would not have even been allowed online. They know this and they know there are spies and informants online. Everyone is just acting as though they are loyal Communist Party members and not being counter-revolutionary.
You can bet that no one in Beijing will complain if Mao was used in a Mercedes-Benz advertisement as a satisﬁed customer. After all, the man ordered plenty of 600 models.
No Chinese complained when Citroën used Chinese symbols to sell the AX (‘Révolutionnaire!’) in 1986–7. As far as I can make out, this is just an extension.
Of course, Citroën has apologized to the overly sensitive types, I say principally because it has a vested interest in Red China, selling everything from a facelifted Peugeot 206 as the C2 to ZX sedans that command a hefty share of the taxi market.
Citroën’s statement read, ‘We repeat our good feelings towards the Chinese people, and conﬁrm that we respect the representatives and symbols of the country.’
Money and capitalism have won the day and assured the Communists an apology. I wonder what Mao would say to that. Posted by Jack Yan, 11:02
I would have pained a Hitler mustache on Mao LOL But I do think that it's kind of funny although I'm not sure what the concept was behind the ad.Post a Comment
Links to this post:
NoteEntries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.
Individual JY&A and Medinge Group blogs
DonateIf you wish to help with my hosting costs, please feel free to donate.
Copyright ©200210 by Jack Yan & Associates. All rights reserved. Photograph of Jack Yan by Chelfyn Baxter.