Cosmetics giant Lancôme, a major brand in mainland China, is being slammed by Hong Kong netizens for canceling a promotional event at which a pro-democracy pop star was to be a headline act, news website hk01.com reports.
The company had invited Cantopop singer Denise Ho Wan-see, a staunch supporter of the pro-democracy movement, to perform at the free event on June 19 in Sheung Wan.
On Sunday, Lancôme announced the cancellation of the event. Furious netizens believe the decision was made under pressure from Beijing.
Ho has been banned in the mainland since she openly supported the pro-democracy activists during the 2014 Occupy movement.
After Ho announced on Thursday last week that she would be performing at the event, Global Times, a sister publication of the official People’s Daily, said Lancôme’s invitation to Ho to perform is tantamount to using the money the company earns from mainland consumers to pay a pro-independence Hong Kong artist.
The newspaper also criticized mouthwash brand Listerine for recently hiring Ho as a spokeswoman for its products.
Lancôme stressed on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon that Ho is not its spokesperson.
Later that night, the company announced the cancellation of the event “due to possible safety reasons”.
The move perplexed and angered Hong Kong netizens, who called it “ridiculous”.
Some netizens called on people to boycott Lancôme, some posted pictures of Lancôme products thrown into a trash bin, and others criticized the company’s public relations skills, Apple Daily reports.
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