Metta Communications will modify a commercial for Eu Yan Sang after an anonymous Facebook group whose name in Chinese roughly translates into “boycott Eu Yan Sang’s products” was created over claims that the commercial depicted animal cruelty.
The Facebook group was set up yesterday and garnered over 800 likes.
The TVC featured a man chasing a dog through the bush with an enormous stick. Just before he manages to beat the dog with the stick, his son stops him from harming the animal out of empathy, a virtue that the ad aimed to promote.
The TVC was quickly withdrawn last night and the company made an official announcement.
The announcement said in the process of creating the TVC, Metta Communications based the design of the child’s character such that his tenacity demonstrates an innate kind of benevolence.
Eu Yan Sang’s statement continued, “As to the father’s misunderstanding of the dog, the TVC did not explain this clearly. After listening to everyone’s comments, we realised that something was amiss in the creative process. We have immediately taken action to change the content of the ad to clarify the message.”
The TV commercial was supposed to run for a week but it is now being edited along with the print and OOH versions of the ad after some social media users expressed concerns that the ads over-exaggerated the brutal image of the dog.
Eu Yan Sang’s creative agency Metta Communications could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.