Chinese company apologises for showing women as horrific without makeup after boycott calls

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jan 12, 2021, 04.24 PM(IST)

Representational image Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

The advert shows a woman being followed by a masked man on a dimly lit road, who then backs off after he sees her face as she wipes off makeup using the wipes. The advert is by Chinese cotton product brand Purcotton. 

A Chinese advertisement for makeup removal wipes was pulled up after it faced flak on the internet for being insensitive towards victims of sexual assault and women in general. 

The advert shows a woman being followed by a masked man on a dimly lit road, who then backs off after he sees her face as she wipes off makeup using the wipes. The advert is by Chinese cotton product brand Purcotton. 

People found the ad problematic as the woman is shown scaring her would-be attacker after revealing her face without makeup -- putting forth an idea that women are horrific to look without makeup and natural skin is bad to be in after all. Also, it delegitimises the need for being natural.  

The ad is also being discounted for not sensitively handling the issue of sexual assault. People have been sharing the ad and labeling it "disgusting" and "wrong." Some have even called for a boycott of the company's products.

"You use what scares women the most for an advertisement, which is beyond comprehension and unacceptable," one user said on Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform.
Purcotton originally defended the advertisement as a creative way to advertise the "cleaning function of the product," but as the calls for a boycott grew, the company removed the video from their accounts and eventually apologized on January 8.

"We have set up a team to hold people to account for the problem and, in the meantime, we will improve content production and the review process to prevent similar incidents from happening again," the company's post said. Purcotton posted a second apology letter to their Weibo account on Monday.

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