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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Gum Ad Hurts Chinese Pride

Complaints from the Chinese Embassy in Moscow forced an advertising agency to scrap an Orbit chewing gum commercial playing on Russian television that featured China's national anthem as backing music.

China's People's Daily newspaper said the commercial for chewing gum produced by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company using the "March of the Volunteers" had "harmed the dignity of China."

Igor Kirkchi, general director of BBDO, an advertising subsidiary of Omnigroup in Moscow, which designed the advertisement said it was immediately withdrawn after complaints from China.

"It was a monstrous misunderstanding," he said. "We bought the music and the rights to use it in an ad from an English company owning banks of music tracks intended for commercial purposes. It was impossible to determine that it was the Chinese national anthem by the name of the track."

The advertisement was aired on a number of national television stations, including the Sports Channel, TV3, and CTC from Jan. 3., before being pulled Jan. 8, Xinhua news agency reported. The advertisement took as long as five days to be removed as it first appeared over the New Year's Holiday season, embassy employees said, Xinhua reported.

(Reuters, MT)