newspaper, commercial, advertisement
internet file, colour, original source: advertising in Spanish newspaper, colour print on paper
Citroen Advertisement Criticized by Chinese Bloggers in 2008, (DACHS 2008 Mao Portrait Citroen), Heidelberg catalogue entry
Mao portrait, Mao´s image, holy, Mao Cult, parody, Chinese blog, Citroen, defacing, advertising, commercial, nation, hero
Citroen Advertisement Criticized by Chinese Bloggers in 2008 (Xuetielong: Mao guanggao 雪铁龙: 毛广告)
Mao matters and Mao’s image remains holy to some, in spite all the ridicule and parody to which it has been submitted. It no longer has to be “red, bright, and shining,” necessarily, but it is not such that anyone can use it at will either. It was for this reason that, after furious Chinese blog responses from a large crowd of bloggers, Citroen recalled an advertisement in several Spanish newspapers in early 2008 and apologized to China. Within only two days, more than 35,000 bloggers had written complaints about the “defacing” (篡改 cuangai) of Mao, demanding respect and an apology to the Chinese people (向中国人民道歉, DACHS 2009 Zhongguo Xinwen Wang, DACHS 2009 Citroen Ad Blog Responses.).
The full-page advertisement featured Mao pulling a bizarre face with squinting eyes and screwed up lips, ogling a small sporty hatchback. Under the Biblical quote, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” (Matthew 22:21; it continues “… and unto God the things which are God’s”) the advertisement emphasized Citroen’s position as a car sales leader, further connecting it with Maoist revolutionary might and the advantages of the Mao’s continuous revolution: “It’s true, we are leaders, but at Citroen the revolution never stops.” The bloggers responded not to the text but to the image: How could Mao, who represented “the spirit of a nation,” have been abused in such a way!