Source:Global Times Published: 2015-7-23 14:08:01

Did the 'Spartan' publicity stunt cross the line?

Several foreigners dressed as Spartans were detained by police Wednesday afternoon after a publicity stunt to promote a restaurant. Photos were snapped of them in Guomao, Sanlitun and in front of the Jianwai SOHO. The men were scantily clad in only a pair of shorts and a cape, carrying a container of salad to promote the Sweetie Salad restaurant in Chaoyang district. Ping'an Beijing, the official Weibo account of the Beijing police, said at around 12 pm on Thursday that the group were disturbing public order. The police stopped them to restore order and some were detained. The restaurant admitted its inexperience in organizing public promotional activities on its WeChat account on Thursday. It said that they have had "thorough" communication with the police and ironed out the "misunderstanding." Business at the restaurant carried on as usual on Thursday, but they refused an interview request from Metropolitan. Li Lin, Yu Mingxi and Fu Xiaotong hit the streets to find out what residents think about the stunt.

Michel Lens, journalist, UK

I saw this on WeChat yesterday, and I think it is a funny marketing strategy. But for everyone else, these people running around almost naked is not appropriate. I understand that the police had to intervene, because I think nudity on the street is a bit offensive to other people. It's better to communicate with the police first.

Hussein Bordbar, businessman, Iran

I think when a company is choosing a marketing strategy, it should pay attention to the culture of the country. As a businessman, I travel around most of China, and I have found that China has this veil, and their daily life has its own traditions, not familiar with foreign customs. They have to make an advertisement that suits the Chinese way. As for the police, they don't know what those models' intention was. But after all, the police is looking at the norm of the society.

Xu Qichi, restaurant owner, China

I will never adopt such a strategy to promote my products and service, because it can give off a negative impression. I think an enterprise only needs outstanding quality to please their customers, instead of meaningless grandstanding.

Natalia Ytsma, doctor, Canada

I think it is silly and embarrassing to see foreign people do that. I wouldn't want to be a foreigner doing that even if they paid me a lot of money.

Xu Gongcheng, taxi driver, China

It's not professional and polite for delivery men to dress like that. Even our taxi drivers have to follow a dress code. We are not allowed to wear shorts when driving our customers. Fortunately they did not ask naked girls to do that, or the onlookers might have multiplied and the transportation system might have become totally congested.

Dong Fangfang, salesperson, China

I think I can accept naked delivery men, because I understand business promotion, but I am not very excited by this campaign because I do not think they are that cool or  handsome. Whether they are naked or not, I will eat my salad calmly.

Francesco Rossi, businessman, Italy

I think it's a kind of marketing promotion, but I don't think anyone meant to demonstrate against society or against culture. If you look at another incident, there are lots of Chinese people taking pictures outside UNIQLO, so it looks like this kind of thing actually helps the brand to be better rather than to be controlled. In Italy this kind of marketing happens quite a lot. They are called flash mobs. Actually this specific one happened in Milan too, and in the subway. So it was a kind of global strategy. The problem is that they do not understand that you have to adapt a global situation into a local situation.

Fan Yingchen, student, China

I think Western models are more courageous, open-minded and love acting and that's why the company hired those foreign models. Actually for me being naked or semi-naked is nothing special, depending on how you view the costume. When I studied in Australia, it was quite normal to see people demonstrating for equal rights. The police there are quite supportive, maybe because the organizers communicated with authorities first. As far as this event is concerned, the police's action is understandable because China is a country with a huge population, and we don't know what influence things like this could bring if we let it continue.

Jin Yu, retired, China

That's too improper, and it brings shame on Beijing's image of an ancient capital. So I think the police was correct to detain them. Since I am old and have a bad memory, sometimes I forget my phone at home. If I had my phone with me and saw these naked guys, I would have called the police immediately.

Posted in: Twocents-Opinion

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