Economy

'Sexist' Audi commercial in China treats bride like vehicle

'Sexist' Audi commercial in China treats bride like vehicle

A China Audi commercial has enraged social media users by showing a Chinese groom's mother inspecting his bride during the wedding ceremony, likening her to a used auto.

The older woman grabs the bride's nose and ears, pinches her lower lip and peers at her teeth and tongue. The commercial then says: "An important decision must be made carefully".

In addition to demands for the ad to be taken down, there have been some calls to boycott Audi cars.

"This is unacceptable", wrote one user, while another called it "disgusting".

According the company's official statement sent to Sixth Tone, the German vehicle company "deeply regrets" the marketing move, which they attributed to the used auto division of their joint venture in China.

Audi didn't immediately respond to an email, and Ogilvy China declined to comment.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, an Audi spokesman said that the matter is now under investigation, and that Audi's marketing campaign in China was the responsibility of its local joint venture partner.

"Most corporations do not have the concept of gender equality and neither do Chinese regulators", Li Maizi, a feminist activist, told CNN.

This speed bump isn't good for Audi.Its sales fell 15 percent during the first half of this year.

Lotus may become the latest western marque to shift some production to China, Bloomberg reports, after China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group announced plans to purchase stakes in Malaysian.

I suspect that one or two people at Audi China and its ad agency will soon be undergoing a rigorous inspection themselves.