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Naughty Pandas to encourage better tourist behaviour

A Chinese ad campaign depicts Chinese tourists as naughty, rude and urinating pandas in a bid to encourage "better behaviour" while in Australia.

A Chinese ad campaign depicts Chinese tourists as naughty, rude and urinating pandas in a bid to encourage “better behaviour” while in Australia.

An extremely bizarre television advertisement, featuring human pandas, aims to get Chinese tourists to behave better while traveling abroad. The ad, developed by creative agency DDB China, sees humans dressed up as pandas conducting various acts of disobedience around Sydney – from littering, spraying graffiti, sleeping on park benches and urinating in public.

The commercial was aired on China Central Television with the tagline  “Be a good panda, be a good tourist.”

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While creators claim that the commercial had honest intentions to promote better behaviour among Chinese tourists, the TV ad received local backlash, with some calling the ad extremely insulting and insensitive.

 “CCTV glorifies this ad, which insults all Chinese people, by calling it a public service announcement. Such ‘low-quality’ citizens are in the minority,”
“This besmirches the Chinese public—I strongly demand that CCTV remove this rubbish ad!”

User comments on Weibo, a Chinese social network, reported by the Wall Street Journal.

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Are these pandas having a little too much fun?

However, DDB China stood by the video, issuing the following statement on its blog:

“By using these images, CCTV would like to remind Chinese people, ‘Do not forget the whole world is watching us,’ so as to make people behave more civilized while traveling.”

Most recently, a spokeswoman for DDB China has claimed that the ad, which started airing on Sept. 29, had “completed its scheduled broadcast” and would no longer be appearing on Chinese airwaves– though some accounts are saying the ad was pulled due to viewer complaints.

According to Mashable, the agency has since removed the ad from its website. It now claims the minute-long version with the urinating panda, which was a director’s cut, never aired on Chinese airwaves. The agency also reiterated that the spot never appeared on TV outside China, appearing only on CCTV stations.

Chinese travelers accounted for the second largest group of visitors to Australia last year, according to news.com.au.

What are your thoughts on this unusual ad?