'Dad, When I Grow Up I Want to Marry You' Ad Pulled from Shenzhen Metro

By Gary Bailer, August 6, 2020

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If you don’t read Chinese, chances are you’ll walk past ads all the time and won’t bat an eye. However, this one particular ad on a Shenzhen metro definitely raised enough eyebrows to make national news. 

The floors and walls of a female-priority carriage on Metro Line 1 were plastered with the phrases ‘爸爸长大的以后我想嫁给你’ and ‘妈妈, 长大以后我想娶你,’  which translate to ‘Dad, I want to marry you when I grow up’ and ‘Mom, I want to marry you when I grow up.’ A little disturbing to say the least. 

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Images via 3g.163.com

Many netizens were quick to point out the inappropriateness of the copy by 新东方 (New Oriental Education Technology Group), the educational company who ran the ad. One user wrote, “It’s not surprising that children will say such things. Parents usually correct them, but it’s a bit inappropriate to post them. What if they mislead other children?” Another top comment read, “If it is really said by a three or four-year-old child, everyone thinks it’s cute... But this is obviously copy made by adults, and most of them are posted to adults.”

A reporter from The Paper sent a message to New Oriental’s official Weibo account inquiring about the ad. New Oriental replied by stating that the ad is indeed theirs and they are aware of the problem and will provide feedback to their marketing team. Futhermore, the copywriting was intended to be from the “simple perspective of children, to express love for their parents without restraint.” The goal was to express simple and pure affection. They also understand that the language of the ad copy would cause ambiguity in a public space. 

As you can see from the photos, the dusty pink ads have been installed in the metro for quite some time. Shenzhen Metro confirmed they have been up for around a month and as a result of complaints will be removed the morning of August 6. They also added that they will review advertisements more closely to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. 

[Cover image via 3g.163.com]

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