Car giant sorry for UAE anthem video slur
Car firm sorry for UAE anthem slur
A BMW television advert involving the UAE national anthem has been axed and an apology issued after it led to uproar on social media.
The commercial shows footballers from Al Ain Club cutting short their recital of the anthem and running off the pitch to take advantage of an offer on BMW cars.
The board of directors at Al Ain FC has also been dissolved, according to state news agency WAM.
HH Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, who ordered the change, wrote on Twitter: “Under the flag and anthem, the country is protected.”
A Twitter hashtag titled ‘suspend BMW ads’ in Arabic was trending in the UAE yesterday.
Emirati football commentator Faris Awad, from Dubai Sports, wrote: “How come such an ad passed through the players and the club? It’s an insult to UAE and their citizens by not respecting the national anthem.”
A unnamed footballer who took part in the advert told Arabic newspaper Emarat Al Youm that the players sang the entire anthem and were unaware how it would be edited. Arno Husselmann, General Manager at BMW dealer Abu Dhabi Motors, said in a statement: “We have noted the recent concerns regarding our TV commercial with the Al Ain Football Club. It was never our intention to cause any offence.
“We are an Emirati-owned company and so always aim to celebrate and promote the UAE’s rich values and culture, which are rightfully recognised around the world for excellence across all aspects of daily life. “We are currently making a modification to ensure there can be no further unintentional reference drawn from it.”
It’s an insult to UAE and their citizens, by not respecting the national anthem – Sports commentator Faris Awad