xi's moments
Home | Opinion Line

Craze for Western products runs out of steam

By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-03 07:47

The China Securities Regulatory Commission recently put 58 questions to De Rucci, a domestic mattress brand that has applied for an initial public offering, on its official website.

The question that attracted the most attention was about the white man who appears in every De Rucci advertisement accompanied by catch lines such as "European style" or "From Europe".

De Rucci's IPO application says a man called Timothy James Kingman has authorized them to use his photograph permanently in ads since 2009. In all likelihood the man in the ad is Kingman, but the commission wants to be sure.

The IPO application says the company was founded in 2004 by two Chinese nationals, that they mostly do business on the Chinese mainland, and the company had no overseas branches till late 2010. Their only link with Europe was that they had hired two chief engineers from abroad, one from France and one from the United Kingdom.

However, for more than a decade the company's ads have been screaming "European blood". The ads don't come cheap. De Rucci's ad budget for 2020 alone was 396 million yuan ($62.16 million), or 36 percent of its sales.

Perhaps De Rucci uses a white man's face to pass itself off as a European company selling European products.

There was a time when China lagged behind the West in terms of technology and product quality, giving rise to the craze for Western products. Some domestic enterprises tried to cash in on that craze by paying white people to appear in their ads in order to convince consumers that their products were "high end".

The craze for Western products is not confined to China. It has created a market for many white people to earn money by appearing in ads, which many companies in developing economies believe make their products more attractive.

But such blind worship is uncalled for in China now that it has become the world's second-largest economy.

For the past 10 years, China has been producing high-quality goods that even the West admires. That's reason enough for the Chinese people to have greater confidence in their own products.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349