Posted on December 7, 2004

China Bans Nike Television Ad As Insult

AP, Dec. 6

BEIJING — China banned a Nike television commercial showing LeBron James battling a cartoon kung fu master, saying the ad insults national dignity.

The commercial, titled “Chamber of Fear,” was broadcast on local Chinese stations and on state television’s national sports channel before being pulled last month. It shows James, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ reigning NBA rookie of the year, defeating the kung fu master, two women in traditional Chinese attire and a pair of dragons, considered a sacred symbol in traditional Chinese culture.

The advertisement “violates regulations that mandate that all advertisements in China should uphold national dignity and interest and respect the motherland’s culture,” the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television said on its Web site Monday. “It also goes against rules that require ads not to contain content that blasphemes national practices and cultures.”

The statement added: “The ad has received an indignant response from Chinese viewers.”

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