'Racist' Chinese ad causes outrage...but Italy did it first

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Screengrab: Qiaobi/YouTube
15:31 CEST+02:00
A TV advert for a Chinese laundry detergent has been widely condemned, with commentators saying it’s the most racist ad to ever be screened.

But a very similar one was made 10 years ago – in Italy.

In the advert below for the Chinese washing brand, Qiaobi, a woman is loading her washing machine when a black man, splattered with paint, appears.

He winks and wolf-whistles at the woman, who flirtatiously beckons him towards her, before putting a sachet of liquid detergent in his mouth and pushing him head-first into the washing machine.

When the washing cycle finishes, the man emerges, to the woman’s delight, as a fair-skinned Chinese man.

The advert, which was first aired a month ago, was posted on Facebook on Thursday night by an American expat living in China, Christopher Powell, and quickly sparked an online furore.

But the idea was not original.

In fact, the ad below was made in Italy and uses the exact same music as the Chinese commercial. It runs along the same premise – but instead, a skinny, white man is pushed into the washing machine and emerges as a muscular black man.

Story continues below…

The ad for the washing detergent, Coloreria, was produced in 2006, a time when social media was not so prevalent. Again, the woman is delighted with her new man, with the ad ending with the strapline, “Coloreria Italiana – coloured is better”. 

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