Mea culpa. French
carmaker Citroen has withdrawn an ad featuring a doctored portrait of former
Chinese leader Mao Zedong, after complaints it was an insult, BBC reports. In
the ad, carried in Spanish newspaper El Pais, Mao scowls at a hatchback. "It's
true, we are leaders, but at Citroen the revolution never stops," reads
the text below the portrait. Citroen apologised for the
"inappropriate" ad, after Chinese chatroom users complained it "hurt"
their "national pride".
Nearly 32 years after his death, Chairman Mao remains revered by some Chinese, despite his promotion of policies such as "Great Leap Forward" which ended in the deaths of millions, and the profound social and economic changes China has since seen. In a statement, Citroen said it regretted any "displeasure" caused, and said it had ordered the advert to be pulled immediately. "We repeat our good feelings towards the Chinese people, and confirm that we respect the representatives and symbols of the country," said the statement in Chinese.