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Marketing Freedom of Speech Hong Kong

Lancôme faces controversy in Hong Kong after cancelling event with pro-democracy singer Denise Ho


By Charlotte McEleny | Asia Editor

June 6, 2016 | 3 min read

Canto-pop star Denise Ho has issued a statement on Facebook in retaliation to Lancôme’s decision to cancel an event Hong Kong (event invite pictured above left).

Denise Ho Lancome

She has accused Lancôme of pandering to bullying and says that if global brands are doing this “we have to seriously address the issue” (statement picture above right).

Lancôme canceled the event that was due to feature the singer and issued statements in which it blamed a concern over security. Social media users in Hong Kong retaliated over the weekend in support of the singer but it follows a stream of activity in which people were calling for a boycott of brands that she is affiliated with, including Lancôme and Listerine (ad featured below).

Ho, who is known for being politically active and is outspoken about democracy, has released a statement in which she says global brands should not give in to such pressure.

“The decision to seriously mislead the public and affect my reputation, I express deep regret. Freedom, justice, equality, Hong Kong has been pursued, and now because these are subject to inexplicable insistence of punishment, then, it is not a matter on my personal level, but a serious distortion of the values ​​of the entire world. Lancôme is an international brand, while international brands bend to such tyrants, we have to seriously address the issue,” she said (as translated by Google).

Some social media users reacted negatively to Ho, arguing that she says negative things about mainland China and therefore agreed with Lancôme.

In the most recent statement from Lancôme, the company said “Denise Ho is not a spokesperson of Lancôme” and it apologised for confusion caused by the cancellation.

Marketing Freedom of Speech Hong Kong

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