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Taiwan's Not A Country When You're Hungry
Snickers accidentally wades into geopolitics with a new ad campaign.
A social media campaign to promote a limited edition Snickers bar prompted an apology from the parent company of Snickers candy bars after images and media called Taiwan a “country.” From Reuters:
Videos and pictures showing a Snickers website promoting a limited edition Snickers bar and saying the product was only available in the “countries” of South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan triggered an outpour of anger on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo on Friday.
Mars Wrigley later published an apology on its Snickers China Weibo account and said the relevant content had been amended.
“Mars Wrigley respects China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity and conducts its business operations in strict compliance with local Chinese laws and regulations,” Mars Wrigley added.
However, the social media backlash did not abate as many users were irate that the U.S. company’s statement did not say Taiwan was a part of China, a cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy.
“Say it: Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory!” read one comment underneath the post on Snickers China Weibo account that received 8,000 likes.
More from the Wall Street Journal on Mars Wrigley’s response:
In its second apology issued about 2½ hours later, the company added: “There is #OnlyOneChina in the world, and Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory.”
Mars Wrigley, which is owned by McLean, Va.,-based Mars Inc., said it respects China’s national sovereignty and conducts its business operations in “strict compliance” with local laws and regulations.
A company spokeswoman said in an email Friday that Snickers reviewed and changed the language on its website and social-media accounts in some locations in Asia.
Several Chinese state media, nationalistic tabloids and a least one youth branch of China’s ruling Communist Party shared the Snickers apology on their social-media accounts.
It’s a good thing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t get “hangry” during her high profile visit to Taiwan last week or Snickers might have been permabanned from China.