The Germans and their notoriously risque advertisements may have bitten off more than they can chew with Doc Morris Pharmaceuticals’ most recent condom ads.
Grey Worldwide, the second largest German ad company experienced a wave of backlash after putting Chairman Mao Zedong in a line of Doc Morris’ condom advertisements with Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler.
The ads imply that condom use could potentially prevent the birth of the next global terror, but it seems like the Chinese don’t quite feel that their dear leader should’ve been included alongside the globally despised Hitler and bin Laden.
The more eloquent amongst the netizens have argued that while Mao’s leadership certainly created hardship for many, he also brought the country out of political and social turmoil and set it on the path to become the major power it is today.
The ads have been poorly received internationally as well, receiving an average score of 4.5 out of 10 in preliminary marketing testing. Not only have they scored poorly, but some have said that they don’t even see the resemblance between the Mao sperm and the Chairman.
While we’re all for creativity, but we’re not sure that Grey Worldwide really thought this ad out. It wouldn’t have taken much research to realize that Mao is still widely respected in China… and you’d think it would be logical to assume that its in both Grey’s and Doc Morris’ best interest to not alienate a country of a billion plus potential angry citizens, if not potential customers.
Perhaps one netizen had it right when he said that the West worships the idea of “百无禁忌” (nothing is forbidden).