Advertising for cosmetic wipes linking a woman’s appearance to the likelihood of assault is removed.
A Chinese ad for makeup wipes that linked a woman’s appearance to the likelihood of assault was removed and the company was forced to apologize after a backlash to “blame the victim.”
The ad, released last week by Chinese cotton products maker Purcotton, showed a woman walking home at night followed by a stalker.
As he wins over her, she hastily removes makeup using the wipes. As the abuser grabs her from behind, the woman turns to show him her now makeup-free face, scaring the potential abuser with her natural skin tone.
The ad was circulated widely on Chinese social media as users of the Twitter-like service Weibo complained that it had exposed a serious issue and vowed to boycott the brand’s products.
“Isn’t that just insulting the female sex? Advertise a harassed woman? It’s a crime, ”one user wrote in a comment that has garnered over 50,000 likes.
Although the company has since apologized twice, it initially defended the ad as a “creative concept” causing further outrage.
“To use women’s worst fears and pains as the subject of an ad and then loudly defend it – do you even have a brain?” Read a comment that has gained over 30,000 likes.
“I apologize deeply”
In the face of an increasingly serious public relations disaster, Purcotton wrote on Weibo on Friday that he attached “great importance” to the matter and added, “as to the discomfort caused by the content of the video to everyone, we deeply apologize and will remove the video immediately. “
But the internet fury did not subside, and Purcotton issued a longer apology on Monday.
The Weibo hashtag “Purcotton apology” received 500 million views on Tuesday morning.
Even the state media weighed in on the controversy.
“It beautifies the criminal and smears the victim and is full of prejudice, malice and ignorance,” the official newspaper of the women’s rights group All-China Women’s Federation wrote on Friday.
The Purcotton brand, owned by Winner Medical Group, operates more than 240 stores across China, selling products such as clothing, facial tissues, sanitary napkins and diapers.
It is the latest company to be trapped as more Chinese social media users have launched ads deemed sexist in recent years, a trend that major international brands such as IKEA and Audi have also fallen from. Under the hit.
Taiwanese supermarket chain RT-Mart apologized last November after Internet commentators accused it of “shaming” its customers.
Plus size women’s clothing in its Chinese stores was labeled “rotten” and “extra rotten”, while small and medium sizes were labeled “skinny” and “beautiful.”
A Chinese Audi ad in 2017 was heavily criticized for showing a bride physically inspected in the driveway by her future mother-in-law, which drew comparisons to inspecting livestock or used cars.