Date
17 August 2017
This giant toad has a political namesake and it's making Chinese authorities nervous. As expected, a rename is in order. Photo: Xinhua
This giant toad has a political namesake and it's making Chinese authorities nervous. As expected, a rename is in order. Photo: Xinhua

What’s in a name? Golden toad doesn’t quite cut it

The idea was spot-on but the name was politically incorrect.

So, the brains behind an inflatable golden toad, a 22-meter floating balloon inspired by the now world-famous giant rubber duck, had to think up a more appropriate moniker for the creation.

The toad was unveiled in Beijing’s Yuyuantan Park to promote local handicraft but Chinese authorities became concerned at the prospect of people using it to mock retired president Jiang Zemin who has been nicknamed “Toad Jiang” by his detractors, Apple Daily reported Monday.

References to the amphibian have been deleted from social networks and local media has been told to stop toadying up to the idea.

Now the giant attraction is simply called by its scientific name bufo bufo (chan chu in Chinese) which by all accounts is safe, or at least not controversial.

But the switch isn’t cheap. The 8 million yuan yuan (US$1.29 million) marketing campaign is expected to lose some sharpness with a dull name for its mascot and from decreased exposure on the internet.

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