Published: Thu, July 20, 2017
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Audi ad compares women to used cars

Audi ad compares women to used cars

German vehicle brand Audi is facing a fierce backlash on social media over an advert aired in China which is being accused of objectifying women in a sexist manner.

It shows a couple at the altar seemingly about to tie the knot before an apparently concerned future mother-in-law interrupts proceedings to inspect the bride's body. "I will not buy an Audi in this lifetime", one user says, and another calls it "disastrous marketing".

Before leaving the ceremony, the mom catches a glimpse of the bride's breasts, which the bride then covers in shame. Or it will, eventually, if laws in specific regions are changed to allow. That commenter advised Audi to "think about its mistakes".

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, an Audi spokesman said that the matter is now under investigation, and that Audi's marketing campaign in China was the responsibility of its local joint venture partner.

Audi didn't immediately respond to an email, and Ogilvy China declined to comment. (There are days when The Bulldog feels like a used car). Audi, owned by Volkswagen, has seen sales stall in China this year, despite a slight bounce back in June.

Audi has been struggling in China of late, with BMW and Mercedes beginning to overpower it.

The ad sparked outrage on Chinese social media networks where users have blasted the commercial as "sexist" and "utterly inappropriate". Women are under a lot of pressure to marry in China, where after a certain age they are considered "leftover women".

Another campaign from a Chinese online dating site in 2014 used a tale about a dying grandma to shame young women for being "too picky" to find a husband.

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