Audi Pulls Offensive Car Ad in China

A new commercial about Audi used cars has triggered Internet fury

A new commercial about Audi used cars has triggered Internet fury

Audi has sparked controversy following an advert in China that likened women to second hand cars.

In the 34-second commercial, a wedding is unceremoniously interrupted when the groom's mother charges down the aisle and grabs the bride's face, inspecting her nose, eyes, ears, and mouth before signaling her approval to her son. She then takes a last look at the bride's chest before a caption declares: "an important decision must be made carefully".

An animation in the same ad encourages viewers to visit a website selling "Audi-approved" secondhand cars.

The ad ends with a plug for used Audi vehicles, with the male narrator saying: "Only with official certification can you be rest assured". Words like "unacceptable" and "disgusting" were used.

A spokesman for Audi's Chinese publicity department told Hong Kong's South China Morning Post an investigation had been launched and the company's marketing in China was the responsibility of its local joint venture partner.

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Apparently, most women don't like to be compared to used cars.

The company can ill afford this speed bump. Audi's sales dropped 12 percent in the first half of the year in China during a dispute with dealers.

"So many powerful women in China are also potential customers for Audi, and this is how Audi is sending its message to buyers?" said Guo Zimeng, a Shanghai-based lifestyle editor.

"I think people are being dramatic", said Beijing resident Marla Yuan. On Tencent Holdings' popular chat app WeChat, almost half-a-million people mentioned "Audi second hand car" on Tuesday.

It's clear that the commercial from China is trying to be humorous, but the joke just doesn't work.

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