The Xi'an branch of McDonald's had created a video to be played at its restaurants showing a Chinese man kneeling in front of an electronics salesman and begging for a discount, Xinhua reported Wednesday. The vendor refuses, saying the man's coupon has expired. The ad says that people don't have to beg to get a discount at McDonald's.
According to a poll by the local Huashang Daily, 80 percent of Xi'an residents felt insulted by the advertisement. One woman said it suggested Chinese people had so little integrity they would get down on their knees to beg for a discount.
Several months ago, Nike was forced to withdraw a television commercial showing a kung fu master defeating Chinese fairies, or "immortals." Local media called the ad "blasphemous" and an insult to Chinese culture.
Marina Leung, senior director for corporate relations at McDonald's China Development Co. in Hong Kong, said the commercial was trying to use humor to attract customers.
Xi'an authorities have said they would charge McDonald's with violating China's advertising regulations, the Huashang Daily reported.
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