Audi has apologized for a controversial commerical that caused a ruckus on the Chinese internet this week for featuring a woman being treated like livestock and compared to a used car.
In the 34-second ad for Audi’s secondhard car venture in China, a groom and bride are in the middle of declaring their wedding vows when the groom’s mother suddenly marches down the aisle to interrupt the proceedings to give her future daughter-in-law one final inspection. The older woman roughly checks the blushing bride’s eyes, ears and mouth as if she was a cow, before finally turning her attention to the younger woman’s breasts.
The ad concludes with an Audi cruising along a road as a voiceover states that: “An important decision must be made carefully. Audi Approved: plus online 4S shop.”
On Chinese social media, many netizens have deemed the ad, “trashy,” “discriminatory” and “sexist” — not to mention just plain dumb — wondering how an international company like Audi could have let such a video get past the planning stage, much less onto screens across China.
In a statement to USA Today, Audi said that it “deeply regrets” the ad, which was created by the used car division of its joint venture in China.
“The ad’s perception that has been created for many people does not correspond to the values of our company in any way,” said the Germany-based auto company which is part of the Volkswagen Group, the world’s largest automaker.
“The responsible department of the joint venture has arranged a thorough investigation of the internal control and coordination processes so that an incident like this can be excluded in the future,” Audi added, noting that the offensive ad had been pulled from China.
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