I don't get it. What is this ad supposed to convey? Good will to the Chinese people? Hey, we get you. We're your friends!
No apologies have been issued yet but that better change, soon.
According to the Guardian UK:
The advert features two large photographs, one of the men's
basketball team, above, and one of the women's team. Both squads pose
in full Olympic kit on a basketball court decorated with a picture of a
Chinese dragon. Every single player appears pulling back the skin on
either side of their eyes. The advert carries the symbol of the sport's
No one involved in the advert appears to have considered it
inappropriate nor contemplated the manner in which it could be
interpreted in China and elsewhere. No offence was intended by the
advert, but whether the Chinese see it that way is a different matter
and it is likely to provoke more criticism at a delicate time for
Spanish sport. The failure to recognise the potential consequences is
striking in the light of the problems Spain has had with issues of race
and the Spanish Olympic committee's continued desire to host the Games
in Madrid in 2016 or 2020.
Spain has been criticized of its lack of sensitivity when it comes to racial issues, and I am sad to say that things haven't gotten better in 2008.
Regardless of whether or not the Chinese people will feel offended, I am disgusted by this low-class thing of an ad and I think anyone with common sense should feel offended too!
The team members might as well have all worn a conical straw hat. Is
this what people in Spain believe to be humorous and worst, marketable? Ergh.
UPDATE 08/13/2008: Here's a link to the team's reaction and so-called apologies (thanks Harry).