Luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana (DG) is under fire after its latest advertising campaign offended some Chinese netizens.
The campaign, dubbed DGLovesChina, depicts models mingling with locals, sohu.com reports.
Mainland netizens accused the company of trying to accentuate its products by juxtaposing them with garments made by Chinese, purposely putting down the locals.
In the photos, models pose in front of iconic landmarks such as the Great Wall and hutongs.
The Great Wall version shows models at the back while a middle-aged woman holds a little girl’s hand in the foreground.
Most complaints questioned why the company showed only the underdeveloped parts of Beijing and its impoverished residents, seemingly misrepresenting the reality.
Some users said on Weibo that the company does not love China, only the money it brings in.
DG has launched similar campaigns since 2012 featuring models among locals in Italy to project the message that the brand is in touch with the real world.
Some netizens said people were being too sensitive, and that there is actually no discrimination in the campaign itself, which also has Hong Kong and Japanese versions.
In the Hong Kong version, models interact with locals in cha chaan tengs and snack shops.
The backlash has caused DG to delete the photos on Weibo as well as on its official WeChat channel but comments continue to circulate and criticise the campaign.
This is not the first time DG has been accused of discrimination in Asia.
In 2012, the DG flagship store on Canton Road in Hong Kong introduced a policy forbidding Hong Kong residents from taking photos inside or outside its flagship store, purportedly to protect its “intellectual property”, but allowed travelers from other countries to do so.
The ban resulted in a public relations crisis as many boycotted the product. DG released an official apology but was criticised for lacking sincerity.
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