UK

All Nippon Airways Pulls 'Clumsily Racist' Ad After Complaints Over Western Stereotypes

21/01/2014 15:21 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT

Japanese airline All Nippon Airways has been forced to pull a controversial advert after complaints of "clumsy racism" as it showed an actor dressed as a white European with a fake pointy nose and blonde wig.

The campaign, intended to show off ANA's international routes from Tokyo's Haneda Airport, shows two pilots talking about how they wanted to change foreign impressions of Japanese people.

Mid-conversation, one of the pilots suddenly dons a blonde wig and fake nose, a Japanese stereotype of Westerners.

ANA, Japan's largest airline, apologised for causing offence and then later pulled the commercial. Richard Lloyd Parry, Asia editor of the Times, tweeted: "#ANA's new ad: clumsy racism, or an innovative work of surrealism on a par with Bunuel, Dada and Warhol?"

A spokeswoman said it was never intended to be discriminatory: "Our intention was to show Japanese becoming more active and essential in the world."

"There were people who took it that way, so we are paying attention to this and cancelling the ad."