ICA criticized for "tasteless" ad

A television commercial which compares the Swedish penchant for eating crayfish with the custom in some parts of China of eating dogs has irritated and and outraged some viewers. The commercial by ICA, one of the Nordic regions's largest food retailers, show a group of Chinese having a traditional crayfish party.But instead of crayfish, it is revealed that the Chinese are eating dog meat.

A complaint against the commercial has been filed with RO, the Swedish Advertising Ombudsman, according Resume, a trade paper for the advertising industry.

Alexander Erwick, editor of the celebrity blog Finest, said that the film encouraged predjudice against the Chinese.

Several people on ICA's Facebook site have also reacted to the film. "I get so angry. How can ICA use Chinese who sing about eating dogmeat in a TV commercial. So tasteless," wrote Ing-Britt Henriksen of Uppsala.

Håkan Sjöstrand, marketing director of the ICA-Group told local paper Jonköpings-Posten that animal rights are important to ICA, saying, "Here our intention is to joke about the Swedish tradition of eating crayfish, not to joke about animal rights. We regret if some people take it another way."

Sjöstrand told the paper they have no plans to pull the commercial. The Advertising Ombudsman will take up the matter in September.

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