Napoleon replaces Mao in controversial Citroen advertisement
Earlier this week Citroen issued an apology and withdrew the print adverts featuring Mao because they caused a strong protest among Chinese residents in SpainMADRID, January 18, 2008 - French car maker Citroen on Thursday replaced
a controversial advertisement in Spain featuring an unflattering picture of
the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong with one using an image of Napoleon.
Earlier this week Citroen issued an apology and withdrew the print adverts
featuring Mao because they caused a strong protest among Chinese residents in
In the ad -- which the car-maker pledged not to use again -- a cross-eyed
Mao is depicted in a giant poster wearing a grey suit as he scowls at a
passing red hatchback.
The image was based on the famous portrait of Mao, who many Chinese still
revere over three decades after his death, which hangs in Beijing's Tiananmen
The new advertisement which appeared in Spanish newspapers Thursday depicts
a portrait of an angry-looking French emperor Napoleon above a Citroen car.
The ad features the same slogan as the one for Mao, the Biblical quotation
"Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar."
It is hitting newsstands just as Spain is planning a series of events to
mark the 200th anniversary of the invasion of the country by Napoleon's troops
and the May 2, 1808 uprising in Madrid against the city's French occupation.
Citroen apologised for the Mao advertisement through a statement published
in China and a letter addressed to China's ambassador to Spain, a Citroen
spokesman in Spain told AFP.
He said the advertising campaign aimed to be humorous and it may use
portraits of other historical figures in the future.