Company sorry for mistress advert

A cosmetics company published an advertisement on Thursday in a Guangzhou-based newspaper to apologize for its previous advert in the paper, which was deemed unethical by the local government.

The new advert followed a full-page ad in the Nandu Daily on Tuesday for Hanhoo cosmetics, which is owned by the Shichangsheng cosmetics company. The page took the form of a letter in which a mistress-turned-wife demanded her marital predecessor stay away from the man they once shared as his ex-wife knew nothing about how to take care of herself and stay pretty.

This letter-like ad, which was released on Tuesday without divulging the company behind it, soon triggered huge debate online. Many Net users said that they were morally outraged and criticized the paper for posting such unethical material.

"We know we have the responsibility to check all the adverts published in the paper. The reason why we decided to put it in the paper was that the client told us that there would be more ads following this to explain the initial ad," an employee of the advertising department at the paper, who declined to be named, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The Administration for Industry and Commerce of Guangdong Province released a statement on its official Weibo account Tuesday saying that the ad has violated advertising law and the case has been filed with the police. The administration also ordered the newspaper and the cosmetics company to stop publishing similar ads and take action to lessen the negative social impact.

In an effort to meet the commands of the government, the Shichangsheng cosmetics company published an apology statement on its official Weibo account Thursday, saying that the initial purpose of the ad was supposed to be creative. It also said that the ad which would be published on the Nandu Daily on Thursday would explain the company's idea clearly.

However, many Net users questioned the sincerity of the apology, which kept the tone of the previous letter and contained many advertising expressions. Some regarded it as a move to challenge the government's orders.

"We have paid close attention to the new ad, which takes up four pages. It is not convenient to comment now but we will publish our latest decision in time," an official with the administration, surnamed Hu, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"The motive of the company, wanting to draw people's attention, is understandable. But the company should stick to the baseline of social morality," Liu Zaixing, managing editor of The Advertiser, an advertising industry magazine, told the Global Times on Thursday.

He said that this kind of advertisement won't do any good to promote the appearance of the brand but will damage the company's reputation, adding that the media should strengthen control on advertisements.

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