U.S. sports company Vans has eliminated “a small number” of submissions in a sneaker design competition. It is comprising one shout out to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.
The incident was after companies weigh the threats of irritating China.
Global companies are in a difficult situation. Their marketing campaigns are fearing criticism from Chinese customers if it is considered to be expressing solidarity with the anti-government protests.
These protests have declined Hong Kong into its worst crisis in decades.
Meanwhile, the U.S. luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co deleted a twitter advertisement posted on Monday.
The tweet was showing a female model with her hand covering her right eye. Some people understood it as a support with the protesters.
Last week, Vans invited the public to vote for their preferred sneaker design.
They will be choosing from more than 100,000 submissions around the world in a Vans Global Custom Culture competition.
In a news report, the media indicated that design from a Canada-based participant named Naomiso won the online vote. This incident happened before it was taken down on Saturday.
Winning Design of the Sneaker Competition
The design highlighted a red bauhinia. It is one kind of flower that symbolizes Hong Kong.
Moreover, on its flag, a yellow umbrella and a nod to 2014 protests refer it to as the umbrella revolution.
People wearing helmets, masks, and goggles are also on the side of the sneaker design.
In a Facebook statement, Vans, a unit of VF Corp, said, “based on the global competition’s guideline, Vans can confirm that a small number of artistic submissions have been removed. This decision was taken to uphold the purpose of Custom Culture.”
Vans did not immediately answer a news report request for comment on Tuesday.
On the same day, a quest of the username Naomiso on the Custom Culture’s website did not yield any outcome.
Meanwhile, some people in Hong Kong have called for a boycott with the sneaker brand on Facebook.
On the flip side, some retailers have postponed sales of Vans products.
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