The German automaker Audi has had some negative reactions for an ad that compared buying a used or second-hand car to checking out your bride-to-be.
Audi has said Wednesday it deeply regrets the ad and withdrew the ad for public viewing. This came in a time when Audi is doing their best to revive its sales in the world’s biggest car market, aka China.
The now viral video, being aired online and in cinemas this week, shows a mother-in-law running up during her son’s wedding and begins inspecting the bride as they wait to be married. This was an attempt of humor to play on a common stereotype of Chinese parents being very particular on who their kids marry.
Thousands of Chinese consumers and bystanders took to the web in order to express there distaste in the ad, saying it was sexist and demeaning to women. A popular chat app WeChat recorded nearly half a million people mention “Audi second hand car” on their channels on Tuesday.
This negative social media reaction in Chine has negatively effected a brand who’s sales have been stall in China this year, despite a recent bounce back in June.
The 30-second ad features an outdoor wedding being interrupter by the grooms mother as she rushes the podium checking out the brides, eyes, nose, ears, and pulling open her mouth to check her teeth, a similar set of steps you would take when buying a used car.
A voice over says: “Important decisions must be made carefully … Only with an official certification can you relax.” The advert is for an approved retailer of Audi second hand cars.
The video has Chinese consumers very upset, having many online saying it objectified women.
Audi said in a statement the perception created by the ad “does not correspond to the values of our company in any way,” adding it was launching an investigation to ensure the mistake didn’t happen again.
Premium carmakers are increasingly looking to the Chinese market for growth, as growing personal wealth and the emergence of flourishing private enterprises drive up sales.
Here is the ad: