Chinese beauty advert accused of ‘demonising’ rape victims is axed following outcry
- A brand faced outrage over an advertisement for its make-up removal wipes
- In the video, a woman appears to become a man after wiping away her make-up
- She used the method to scare off a potential attacker who was following her
- The promo clip angered netizens who slammed the company ‘victim-blaming’
A company in China has been forced to axe an advertisement of its make-up removal wipes after being accused by angry netizens of ‘demonising’ rape victims.
The Chinese cotton product brand, Purcotton, released a video appearing to show a woman turning into a man after using the wet wipe to remove her make-up, scaring off a potential attacker who was following her on the street.
The advert has been pulled from Purcotton’s social media account after it triggered online outrage with people slamming the firm for allegedly blaming women for sexual assault.
The Chinese cotton product brand, Purcotton, released a video appearing to show a woman turning into a man after using the wet wipe to remove her make-up, scaring off a pervert
The video sparked controversy after a hashtag ‘Purcotton advert accused of insulting women’ became a trending topic on China’s Twitter-like Weibo on Friday.
In the advert widely shared online, a woman can be seen walking alone on a quiet, dimly lit street as she noticed herself being followed by a masked man, who appeared to be an attacker.
The woman then pulled out a Purcotton wet wipe from her bag to remove her make-up as the man began to approach her.
When the man tapped her on the shoulder, the woman suddenly became a man as he turned around and asked: ‘Can I help you, brother?’
The word ‘vomiting’ was then displayed, accompanied by laughing sound effects. The next scene shows the man promoting the Purcotton product as his horrified attacker ran away.
The video faced a fierce backlash from netizens and Chinese media, including state newspaper China Women’s News, which condemned the advert for ‘demonising the victims’.
The video sparked controversy after a hashtag ‘Purcotton advert accused of insulting women’ became a trending topic on China’s Twitter-like Weibo on Friday. A Chinese woman is seen in a file photo walking past a restaurant in the city of Beijing on August 10
‘Purcotton’s advert is suggesting women would be targeted by attackers at night because you put make-up on. Without make-up, the attackers would be disgusted and therefore no attacks would happen,’ the outlet wrote on its Weibo account.
‘Using “creativity” as a light-hearted cover, the company glorifies the offenders and demonise the victims. It’s full of bias, malice and ignorance.’
The comment was echoed by tens of thousands of web users who slammed the video as ‘insulting and disrespecting women’ and called to boycott the company.
One commenter wrote: ‘The brand’s main audience is women, but it still uses women’s fear as a selling point and promotes victim-blaming.’
The Purcotton advert has been pulled from its social media account after it triggered online outrage with people slamming the firm for allegedly blaming women for sexual assault (file)
Another user said: ‘Poor taste and full of malice. The idea is dark and an insult to women.’
Purcotton, owned by Winner Medical Group, is said to have more than 240 stores in China and over 20million registered customers.
Despite initially claiming the video was a ‘creative advert’ with ‘no intention of objectifying women’, the company removed the original clip and issued a formal apology on Friday as the outrage grew.
On Monday, Purcotton released a second statement, pledging to strictly scrutinise its future content.
Purcotton is not the first company that has been forced to apologise over controversial advertisement against women in China.
In November, a major supermarket chain, RT-Mart, faced backlash after labelling plus-size women as ‘rotten’ and ‘horrible’.