Audi ad com­pared a wife to a used car

Auto firm apol­o­gizes af­ter com­mer­cial in China sparks out­cry

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - NATHAN BOMEY

Ger­man lux­ury au­to­mo­tive brand Audi apol­o­gized Wednes­day for air­ing a com­mer­cial in China that com­pared pick­ing a wife to buy­ing a used car.

The com­pany told USA To­day it “deeply re­grets” the ad­ver­tise­ment, which it said was cre­ated by the used-car divi­sion of its joint ven­ture in China.

(Au­tomak­ers are le­gally re­quired to form part­ner­ships with lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers to pro­duce ve­hi­cles 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 Audi, which is part of the Volk­swa­gen Group, the world’s largest au­tomaker.

The com­mer­cial de­picted a groom’s mother in­spect­ing the bride’s phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance dur­ing a wed­ding cer­e­mony. The woman ag­gres­sively pinches the bride’s nose, ears and lips be­fore her son pulls her off the bride.

Be­fore leav­ing the cer­e­mony, the mom catches a glimpse of the bride’s breasts, which the bride then cov­ers in shame.

“An im­por­tant de­ci­sion must be made care­fully,” a voice is then heard say­ing, ac­cord­ing to an English trans­la­tion, with the video cut­ting to footage of an Audi.

The ad sparked an out­cry on Chi­nese so­cial me­dia, ac­cord­ing to sev­eral re­ports.

Audi said Wednes­day the ad was made only for the Chi­nese mar­ket and had been re­moved.

“The re­spon­si­ble de­part­ment of the joint ven­ture has ar­ranged a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the in­ter­nal con­trol and co-or­di­na­tion pro­cesses so that an in­ci­dent like this can be ex­cluded in the fu­ture,” the brand said.

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