A Dolce & Gabbana social media campaign, DGLovesChina, has backfired with the brand removing the images from Weibo and WeChat following a public backlash.
Dolce & Gabbana launched the images and films across its social media platforms as part of digital campaign to promote the brand’s first fashion show in Beijing, which was held last week.
The images featured models clad in Dolce & Gabbana clothing posing among locals and tourists at Beijing tourist attractions, including Tiananmen Square, the city’s historic huatongs and on The Great Wall.
The images were heavily criticised as “offensive” by Chinese consumers, who claimed the campaign stereotyped China, depicting a “backward” view of the country by selecting images in the historic, or old areas, rather than in the new modern China.
Chinese social media users flooded the brand’s profiles with negative comments and threatened to boycott its stores and products.
Dolce & Gabbana has quietly removed the images from Chinese social media, however, they are still available on the brand’s Instagram account.
The DG Loves China campaign was similar to campaigns Dolce & Gabbana has already run in Japan and Hong Kong, as part of a strategy to localise the brand within the respective markets.
It comes at a crucial time for luxury brands in China, as the market begins to show signs of recovery after a drop in spending on luxury goods by Chinese consumers in 2016.
Chinese consumers buy more luxury products than those in any other country, accounting for more than one-third of all global luxury spending.