Dolce & Gabbana Received Backlash from China Following Ad Campaign Stereotyping Chinese

A video ad showing a Chinese woman struggling to eat pizza with chopsticks
A video ad showing a Chinese woman struggling to eat pizza with chopsticks (photo: Dolce & Gabbana / Screenshot)
By M. GraceNovember 26th, 2018

After Dolce & Gabbana posted clips on November 18 on its Instagram account, showing an Asian woman struggling to eat pasta and pizza using her chopsticks, the brand received continuous backlash from China.

 The videos were captioned: "Welcome to Episode 1 with Dolce & Gabbana's Eating with Chopsticks. First up today is how to use this stick shaped cutlery to eat your GREAT traditional Pizza Margherita."

These videos were reported to be part of Dolce & Gabbana's new campaign, DG Loves China, which originally supposed to promote a runway show which should be held in Shanghai in on November 21. But the show had been canceled.

A recent report from BBC claimed that the campaign was accused of trivializing Chinese culture and promoting unflattering stereotypes, causing local celebrities boycotting the brand.

Moreover, the brand crisis deepened when messages allegedly written by co-founder Stefano Gabbana, including offensive comments against Chinese people, went viral.

The brand apologized for it but said that their Instagram accounts had been hacked.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana asked for "forgiveness" through a published video on November 23.

Dolce & Gabbana products were not available in China on major e-commerce sites like and Taobao, Kaola and Secoo.

Alina Ma, associate director of research at market insights firm Mintel, said that "the advert had left Chinese consumers confused and appeared to show the company did not understand them."

"They want a brand that knows them, that makes them feel that they are important," Ma said.

This is not the first time Dolce & Gabbana has drawn controversy.

"Last April, the brand posted a campaign on Weibo that showed impoverished people in run-down areas of Beijing pictured with Dolce & Gabbana models ahead of a catwalk show in the city. It has also caused controversy in 2016 when it called an item of footwear in its spring/summer collection a "slave sandal," BBC reported.

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