Jennifer Zhuang
Dec 17, 2020

‘Problematic’ JD Finance ad causes netizen uproar

JD Finance's promotional film on Douyin mocks a lower-income airline passenger while targeting such consumers for its loan service.

Screen grab from film on Douyin
Screen grab from film on Douyin

Last week, JD Finance released a commercial on Douyin that stirred up controversy. The advertisement starts with a low-income worker being mocked for not knowing windows on airplanes cannot be opened. When a flight attendant suggests he upgrades his flight for a large fee, a seemingly wealthier man steps in and introduces JD’s online cash lending service, JD Jintiao, so the worker can take out giant loans.

Not only did the ad provoke public criticism for discriminating against low-income workers, but Weibo netizens also raised concerns that JD was purposely targeting — and intentionally swaying — users from lower-tier cities into reckless borrowing.

On December 15, JD Finance issued an apology letter acknowledging their ads had “promoted problematic values” and has since then taken down the video. However, this is not the first time an online financial platform has caused heated debate with its advertising issues.

In September, 360 IOU also received backlash for an insensitive ad featuring a flight attendant demanding a man in tattered clothes borrow money from its platform before agreeing to marry him. Although these ads typically target users from lower-tier cities who are less vocal, Chinese netizens have an acute ability to notice commercials that do not uphold morally upright values.

As many businesses continue to experiment with creative and daring content, they must adhere to ever-changing attitudes regarding social issues, particularly on the internet. Moreover, due to Chinese regulations, misleading content risks being punishable by law, and brands have to modify their content accordingly. After all, every action can be magnified and closely examined when released online.

Source:
  

Related Articles

Just Published

2 days ago

Purpose, laughs, and boppable tunes: Spikes jury ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Presidents and members of several Spikes Asia juries share the top trends they spotted in the jury Zoom rooms, with video examples.

2 days ago

Crash Course: How to tell engaging short-form stories

To round off a week of creativity-themed content during Spikes Asia X Campaign festival, this Crash Course provides useful tips on how to build story arcs and create thumb-stopping campaigns for short-form.

2 days ago

Lessons from Tesla, Apple and yoga (yes, yoga) in ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Creatives need to drive relevance for sustainable options, instead of virtue-signalling about sustainability, argues Gulshan Singh of FCB Interface.

2 days ago

Spikes Asia Awards 2021: Campaign's contenders 3

As the juries make their final selections ahead of the March 1 winners announcement, Campaign Asia-Pacific's editorial team has once again scoured through the 2021 shortlist to pick out the work we expect to win.