German magazine mistakenly runs Chinese brothel ad

16th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

The institute bought the picture of Chinese characters in good faith from a photo agency and had it checked by a Chinese speaker, officials said.

Berlin -- A respected German research institute, seeking to illustrate a special report on China with Chinese characters, mistakenly ran an ad for a Chinese brothel on its cover page.

"The idea was to publish an aesthetic picture illustrating Chinese writing," Max Planck Institute spokeswoman Felicitas von Aretin told AFP last week.

The institute bought the picture of Chinese characters in good faith from a photo agency and had it checked by a Chinese speaker, she said.

The collage of texts "looked good and didn't appear to pose a problem," said von Aretin. It was published some five weeks ago on the cover page of one of the institute's journal devoted to China -- "a many-faceted, fascinating land."

Only then did readers notice that the text included a reference to an ad for stripping housewives in a brothel.

That edition of the journal has since been recalled, and the institute has apologized to readers, the spokeswoman said.

AFP/Expatica

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