Audi Airs Sexist Used Car Ad in China, Promptly Apologizes

Not sure what the advertising department was thinking when they approved this commercial.

byChris Constantine|
Audi News photo


Advertising campaigns, especially for car companies, can make or break relations with consumers. As Kendall Jenner knows all too well, even the biggest corporations are one commercial away from landing in hot water. Sure, car commercials have become a lot stranger lately to appeal to people who just aren't interested in buying cars, but this has produced a rise in controversial content from the automobile manufacturers.  

One of the worst but easily avoidable offenses in car commercials is sexism, no matter how unintentional it is. Apparently, everyone forgot to tell Audi that, as the luxury brand produced a blatantly sexist advertisement in China and is now facing the backlash from it. 

The commercial shows a groom's mother interrupting her son's wedding day to look over the bride as if she were a used car, searching for any flaws or imperfections, before showing footage of an Audi. The message of the commercial, "An important decision must be made carefully," seeming implies that when looking for a wife, a guy must make sure she has no issues. This comes across as a clear objectification of women, saying that searching for a soul mate should be no different from buying a car. 

Predictively, the commercial caused an uproar; Audi has promptly pulled the commercial and apologized for it, according to USA Today. The company blames its used car branch for the ad and says that it was only supposed to air in China. That's not much of an excuse, however, as many Chinese people took to social media to voice their disdain for the commercial.

It is unclear whether this will tarnish the Volkswagen Group's reputation, but the question remains: Is any publicity still good publicity?

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