Promo Video for Leica Featuring Famous Tiananmen Square Tank Picture Causes Huge Controversy in China


Marketing is an art and a science.

But, in the modern climate, it is also riskier than one could even imagine.

photo by zibik
Photo by Zibik

You never know what will cause an uproar, and every single day seems to bring something new to be outraged about.

In a recent commercial showing off their brand, Leica compiled a reel of famous photographs taken during conflicts from around the world according to the BBC.

One of the pictures featured in the reel is that famous pictures from the Tiananmen Square incident where “’Tank Man’ was a lone protester who brought a column of tanks to a standstill during a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing in 1989.”

“Tank Man,” as he is popularly known, became a symbol of both the protests and freedom. As the BBC points out, what eventually happened to him remains unknown.

The image is clearly identified as “Beijing 1989” in the Leica reel.

Naturally, some Chinese users, in what limited scope is available to them to do so, are calling for a boycott of the brand while other users are pointing out that Huawei and Leica have a pretty extensive business relationship.

For those that might not remember, Huawei is currently both pursuing international growth while burnishing its patriotic bona fides back home as a response to the US government (among others) drawing attention to the company and its business practices.

As the BBC reports, Leica was contacted by the South China Morning Post but the company said that the media was not officially commissioned by the company even though it features Leica products and concludes with the company’s branding.

You can watch the video here on YouTube.

As always, we'd love to know your thoughts so please don't hesitate to leave a comment below.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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