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D&G: China shopping sites pull products in ad backlash

Dolce & Gabbana products have been pulled from Chinese e-commerce sites as the backlash against a controversial ad campaign grows.

The firm posted videos this week showing a Chinese model struggling to eat pasta and pizza with chopsticks.

The campaign was accused of trivialising Chinese culture and promoting unflattering stereotypes.

The controversy risks alienating Dolce & Gabbana from one of the world's biggest luxury markets.

Local celebrities have called for a boycott of the brand.

The brand crisis deepened when messages allegedly written by co-founder Stefano Gabbana, which included offensive comments about Chinese people, went viral.

The firm apologised for any offence but said it and Gabbana's Instagram accounts had been hacked.

It offered a fresh apology on Friday. The South China Morning Post published a video showing Gabbana and co-founder Domenico Dolce appealing for their "misunderstanding of Chinese culture" to be forgiven.

A brand that 'knows China'

The Italian firm cancelled its fashion show in Shanghai earlier this week.

But the backlash has continued as retailers in China retreated from the brand.

On Friday, Dolce & Gabbana products were not available in China on major e-commerce sites Taobao and JD.com, as well as smaller platforms Kaola and Secoo.

Alina Ma, associate director of research at market insights firm Mintel, said the advert left Chinese consumers confused and appeared to show the company did not understand them.

"They want a brand that knows them, that makes them feel that they are important," Ms Ma said.

It is a crucial market for luxury firms. A 2018 report by consultancy Bain & Company forecast the luxury goods market in mainland China will grow by up to 22% this year.

ruby Posted on November 23, 2018 09:38

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