Saturday September 22, 2018

Chinese Company Ad unintentionally sets off Talk on Racism

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  • A detergent advertisement by a Chinese company Qiaobi, invites criticism on the grounds of racism
  • A black man is ‘washed’ with the help of the advertised product to change into a fair, chinese man
  • Qiaobi formally writes an apoplgy statement, stating it expresses deep regret for hurting sentiments of the Black people

A seemingly simple advertisement by a Chinese company, Qiaobi, which was first released on Chinese social media in March, came under widespread scrutiny last week as foreign media fueled allegations of propagating racism against the company.

The advertisement shows a black man trying to flirt with an Asian woman, who, unimpressed by his efforts, tosses him into the washing machine to wash him with the company’s advertised product. In a short while, a fair Chinese man appears from the machine, who highly appeals to the woman, as is evident by her smile.

After the sudden attention that the ad received, many online comments surfaced, like, “It should be taken down. All in all, not only is it offensive, but the rest is a complete copy. It has really caused us Chinese to lose face’, referring to the allegation that it was copied from a similar racist Italian advertisement. A few comments, however, spoke in favor of the Chinese company, saying, “There’s no reason to apologize. Blacks aren’t part of the 56 minority groups in China, so how could it be considered offensive?”.

After careful assessment and to avoid further negative press to the advertisement, Qiaobi issued an apology statement, which reads:

On 27 May 2016 on Sina Weibo, media outlets and internet users shared American media reports with the following information: “China’s Qiaobi advertisement is accused of ethnic discrimination, incites controversy on YouTube.” Later, we verified that the ad has been reported on or circulated by American media outlets including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and CNN; the UK’s BBC; France’s AFP, and other media outlets. It has attracted public attention in the US, the UK, and elsewhere. We’d like to express that we have properly managed this situation and would like to add the following:

  1. We have no intentions to discriminate against people of color… Ethnic discrimination is something we strongly reject and condemn.
  2. We express regret over the controversy the ad has created and do not intend to shirk responsibility. We have already stopped the ad’s circulation and have canceled several online streaming links. We hope that internet users and the media will cease sharing the video.
  3. The advertisement and the surrounding controversy have hurt people of African descent. We express our apologies, and also sincerely hope internet users and media won’t overanalyze the situation.
  4. Qiaobi is a domestic Chinese brand of cleaning products. We hope that domestic brands can continue to thrive and go global.

Written by Saurabh Bodas. Saurabh studies Mechatronics Engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology.

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Twitter Tests new Advertisement Strategy for Trending Topic

When tapped, ads under "Promoted Trend Spotlight" would open a feed of tweets with one of the advertiser's related tweets at the top

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This project will develop two sets of metrics: how communities form around political discussions on Twitter, and the challenges that may arise as those discussions develop. Pixabay

Micro blogging site Twitter is reportedly starting to test a new advertising strategy to boost revenue from its trending topics.

The “Promoted Trend Spotlight” ads put a big visual banner equipped with a GIF or image background atop the “Explore” tab, TechCrunch reported on Thursday.

The banners appear for the first two times a user visits that day, according to the report.

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Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter earlier replaced the “Moments” feature with “Explore” that serves as the home for finding out what’s happening on Twitter, including trends.

The “Promoted Trend Spotlight” ads are bought as an add-on to the existing “Promoted Trends” ads that are inserted amongst the list of Twitter’s most popular topics, the TechCrunch report said.

Also Read: Prepare Yourself: You’re Going to Lose Some of Your Twitter Followers

“We are continuing to explore new ways to enhance our takeover offerings and give brands more high-impact opportunities to drive conversation and brand awareness on our platform,” a Twitter spokesperson was quoted as saying.

When tapped, ads under “Promoted Trend Spotlight” would open a feed of tweets with one of the advertiser’s related tweets at the top. (IANS)

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