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McDonald's ad banned due to insulting plot
Updated: 2005-06-23 02:00

American fast food giant McDonald's was pressured recently in China to withdraw a new commercial which was found insulting to various consumers.

The ad describes a Chinese man kneeling before a vendor and begging him to accept his expired discount coupon, but being refused. The advertisement goes on to say people don't have to worry about McDonald's coupons expiring, since their validity lasts for a whole year.

Many cities which had showed the commercial stopped screening it on Tuesday, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Tianjin, Xiamen and Xi'an.

"We were informed of stopping the screening of the ad, without being given a reason," said a woman surnamed Sun at a Shanghai TV station.

"What a shame that the commercial portrayed Chinese consumers as willing bend to such a petty interest!" said a lady surnamed Yuan, who complained to a consumer's petition hotline.

McDonald's China branch faxed domestic media a statement on Tuesday, saying it just wanted to be humorous.

A cartoon published in Wednesday's Guangzhou Evening News depicted Ronald McDonald pressing a man's head to the golden M with a twisting expression. The title is "McDonald's humor is ' discounted' this time."

Representative from McDonald's Henan province's branch Wang Yunsaid the ad publication has been approved by authorities.

A staff member at the commercial's certification organization, China Advertising Association, Qiu Xiaolian, said they asked Mcdonald's to cut the kneeling during the inspection procedure. However, their request has no legal power because the association is a non-government organization.

"It obviously broke China's advertisement law," said Xia Yunping, an official in the administration of industry and commerce in Xi'an, the capital of central China's Shannxi province, without identifying which one.

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