Following sweeping backlash from the Chinese public and domestic and international media, Audi China has withdrawn an offensive commercial that compares women to cows and used cars.
According to the company’s official statement sent to Sixth Tone, the German car company “deeply regrets” the marketing move, which they attributed to the used car division of their joint venture in China. This regional collaboration includes Audi’s parent company, Volkswagen, and Chinese automaker First Automotive Works (FAW), a state-owned corporation and the group’s majority stakeholder at 60 percent.
“The ad’s perception that has been created for many people does not correspond to the values of our company in any way,” read the statement. Audi said the joint venture department responsible for the video “has arranged a thorough investigation” in order to prevent similar incidents in the future.
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. The voiceover that follows says: “An important decision must be made carefully.”
Editor: Kevin Schoenmakers.
(Header image: A screenshot from an advertisement for used Audi vehicles.)