All-Nippon Airways took down a controversial billboard after hearing from Vietnamese council members Lan Diep and Tam Nguyen of San Jose, California.
The billboard, which was placed near San Jose’s Little Saigon district, advertised flights from the city to Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese capital.
In a letter to ANA Sales Director Hiro Yamada, Diep pointed the ad’s problem:
“In Vietnamese, this advertisement promises a ‘smooth flight from San Jose to Saigon.’ However the English portion of the billboard offends the Vietnamese American customer base you are targeting by prominently displaying the name Ho Chi Minh.”
According to Diep, the reminder of Ho Chi Minh is insulting to the refugee community. Currently, there are some 100,000 Vietnamese living in San Jose.
The councilman acknowledged the city’s name change after the Vietnam War but said that “any freedom-loving Vietnamese person” will always consider it to be Saigon, The Mercury News noted.
The billboard came down on the afternoon of March 5. After hearing from Nguyen, Diep thanked ANA in a follow-up tweet:
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