Singaporean salon Strip in trouble over orangutan ad

PHOTO: Singaporean salon Strip is facing back less for the use of an orangutan, a mascot that have used for 20 years. (via Strip)

Singaporean hair removal salon chain Strip has been the centre of a social media storm in China due to their use of an orangutan in an advertisement in the country. The ad for Strip’s salons in Shanghai caused anger among social media users who accused the company of shaming women who do not remove their body hair. In response to the backlash, Strip released a statement.

“Our mascot was inspired by the beloved tourism icon of Singapore and has been present since the brand started 20 years ago. Strip never engages and will never engage in shame campaigns to push or influence people to accept beauty services that benefit us.

“We are a brand that believes in good humour and setting high standards in all our campaigns with full respect for females as well as males alike with the most progressive mindset. The use of inventive and humorous advertising and marketing campaigns enables us to take the embarrassment out of a sensitive subject.”

However, due to the negative reactions to the ad, Strip has decided to stop using images of orangutans in their ads in mainland China and Hong Kong.

Social media users criticized the ad, asking what’s wrong with being hairy. One user lashed out at Strip for the implications they felt the orangutan, which has been used in their ads for decades, is implying.

“This company degrades women and materializes women and creates body anxiety among women only for the sake of its commercial interests.”

The All-China Women’s Federation’s newspaper and a gender researcher also criticized the ad, along with the founder of a women’s rights organization.

An unnamed employee of Strip reportedly reaffirmed that they believe the orangutan represented an overly hairy person. But Strip denies this was their intent and says that they believe the quote was fabricated.

“The alleged conversation in the article with an unnamed staff member saying that we could not find a human as hairy as an ape and hence used the image of an ape is most abnormal. This conversation may have been fabricated and (is) most unlikely to be true and we are in the midst of an internal investigation with our Shanghai team.”

Despite the backlash, Strip remains committed to its brand values and the use of humour in its advertising campaigns.

World News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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