Theodore's World: Pigs Get the Ax In China TV Adsand In Nod to Muslims

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January 26, 2007

Pigs Get the Ax In China TV Adsand In Nod to Muslims

SHANGHAI -- Next month, China will ring in the Year of the Pig
Wallstreet Journal

Nestlé SA planned to celebrate with TV ads featuring a smiling cartoon pig. "Happy new pig year," the ads said.

This week, China Central Television, the national state-run TV network, banned Nestlé's ad -- and all images and spoken references to the animal in commercials, including those tied to the Lunar New Year, China's biggest holiday.

The intent: to avoid offending Muslims, who consider pigs unclean. "China is a multiethnic country," the network's ad department said in a notice sent to ad agencies late Tuesday.

But it's not just any year of the pig — it's a GOLDEN pig year.

There are 12 animals in the Asian horoscope, and each sign comes around once every 12 years. Put together in a combination with elements such as water, fire and earth, each year is characterized to certain special meaning. Twelve different signs with five elements means you have 60 possible combinations.

The golden pig year — calculated through yin-and-yang theory. It happens only every 600 years. It is said that children born in the year of the golden pig will have great fortune. And it's a huge marketing event.

Wild Thing's comment.....

China turns PC and placates the Islamists? WTF That's how powerful, the Islamists are. China still kills Christians and tortures them, that is OK but God forbid they offend the Muslims.

Posted by Wild Thing at January 26, 2007 12:47 AM


Hmmmmmmmm.... No pork fried rice for you, you go now, you been here hour, you break evryting, you killa whale.

Posted by: Billy at January 26, 2007 04:34 AM

"China turns PC and placates the Islamists?"

It's The Sign of the Apocalypse, I tell ya!

Posted by: Rick at January 26, 2007 09:14 AM

Something doesn't make sense here.

It is often thought, incorrectly, that the government there dislikes Christianity too. This is partially true. What the Chinese government fears is anything which the citizens could be loyal too other than itsself... thus they are quite accepting, even encouraging, of Christianity, so long as it with the official state-run Chinese church (Think Catholics meet Communists). Any other church is either discouraged or actively persicuted.

The chinese government does *not* like Islam - its a religion that tends to have extremally loyal followers. Though it makes up only 1.5% of the population (Thanks, wikipedia), if the government were to order those muslims to do something contary to the koran, there would be violence.

The government responded to this in the same way as it responded to the threat of Christianity - not by banning, but by controling, with the foundation of the China Islamic Association in 2001. Its a government-run Islamic authority... and thus will ensure that the faithful are indoctrinated only with government-friendly religion, and steered away from anything that could encourage disobedience.

But thats where it gets odd. The chinese government is an enthusiastic censor, but not usually for reasons of political correctness. Their usual reasons are protecting their hold on power, a protectionist economy, and reducing the cultural influence of other countries. Pleasing muslims is... not their style.

Perhaps the whole thing is an elaborate piece of manipulation - steal the beloved golden pig from the people and point the finger of blame at the muslims. An effective way to make the religion less popular, and discourage any more muslim immigrants without the diplomatic issues posed by a formal ban.

Or perhaps its just one eccentric individual in a position of power who thought it sounded like a good idea.

Posted by: Suricou Raven at January 26, 2007 12:26 PM


Or maybe it's a good will gesture to their new, soon to be nuclear friends in Iran. A token of moral support for Iran's standoff with the west. I don't think it has anything to do with trying to turn the population of China against the Muslims. I think it is more the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Posted by: Billy at January 26, 2007 06:26 PM

Billy, hahahahahaha good one.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 26, 2007 11:48 PM

Rick sure enough it is. heh heh

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 26, 2007 11:48 PM

Suricou Raven, this will be interesting to watch. When people give in to the Muslim demands it only strengthens them and they want more.

We live in interesting times, scary but also very interesting.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 26, 2007 11:51 PM

Maybe the Chinese are scared of Muslim extremists too, just like America's liberals.

Remember the liberal battle cry during the Cold War: Better Red than Dead.

Maybe now Red has changed to Islam.

Posted by: BobF at January 27, 2007 09:30 AM