Germany’s Leica Camera AG has distanced itself from a promotional video depicting a news photographer covering a protest of democracy in Tiananmen Square amid reactions on social media and widespread censorship of the brand name.
The five-minute video, titled “The Hunt,” features a dramatic scene where a photographer runs away from Chinese-speaking police officers and captures the iconic “tank-man” standing in front of a convoy of protesters’ tanks. Path
Referring to June 4, 1989, the event was widely censored on Chinese news and social media, as well as related dates, names and symbols. While the ruling Communist Party has never announced how many protesters have been killed in and around Tiananmen Square, many analysts put the number in the hundreds.
A Leica spokeswoman, Dirk Große-Leege, said in a statement: “The video is not commissioned, funded or approved by any Leica Group company. We are clearly sorry for any confusion and will take further legal action to prevent unauthorized use of our brand.”
Leica did not specify how the promotional video was made, or comment on the company’s relationship with the Brazilian advertising agency that made it, F / Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi.
F / Nazca Saatchi and Saatchi, who previously made promotional videos for Leica, created the video for “The Hunt” and posted the video on their Twitter account on April 16.
F / Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi did not respond to a request for comment, but a spokeswoman for the advertising agency, Carolina Aranha, quoted the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong as saying the video was approved by Leica.
The reaction to the video on Chinese social media comes at a particularly sensitive time before the 30th anniversary of the protests.
Hundreds of people using the Chinese social media site Weibo commented on Leica’s recent posts, censoring the video before naming the company.
ম Thomson Reuters 2019