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Ad in China ‘Victim-Blames’ Woman in Makeup Being Followed By Masked Man

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    A company in China has pulled an advertisement for its makeup removal wipes after receiving backlash for allegedly promoting victim-blaming, CNN reports.

    Controversial video: In the Purcotton advertisement, a masked man stalks a woman as she walks through a dark alley at night. The woman removes her makeup with wipes and faces her horrified would-be attacker, scaring him away.

    • The advertisement sparked outrage online, with many calling it “disgusting.” 
    • China Women’s News took to social media to criticize the advertisement’s message of “demonizing the victim.”
    • “(It is) full of prejudice, malice, and ignorance. Women are consumers and not consumer goods. It is inevitable that ‘creative’ advertisements that insult women will be criticized by the public,” the post read.
    • There have also been calls to boycott the company’s products.
    • “You use what scares women the most for an advertisement, which is beyond comprehension and unacceptable,” a Weibo user wrote.

    Response to the backlash: Purcotton initially defended the advertisement as a creative way to promote the “cleaning function of the product,” but eventually apologized and took down the video on Jan. 8 after boycott threats built traction.

    • Purcotton, which has more than 240 stores in China, cannot afford to lose its estimated 20 million customers.
    • “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,” noted a recent company statement.
    • A second apology letter was posted to Purcotton’s Weibo account on Monday.

    Feature Image via Blagag


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