Saturday, January 27, 2007

Year of the Pig

Becky edited a story on advertising in China for the Year of the Pig and the government's surprising decision to ban ads featuring pigs. Pigs are everywhere now.. in toy stores, gift shops.. cartoon posters hung up everywhere of pigs in chinese garb. I thought it was quite interesting and a good read. Here are some excerpts. Note how much pork is eaten here. From Friday's paper.

Pigs Get the Axe
In China TV Ads,

In Nod to Muslims
Porcine Prohibition Sends
Marketers Scrambling;
A New Year Complication

By GORDON FAIRCLOUGH and GEOFFREY A. FOWLER
SHANGHAI -- Next month, China will ring in the Year of the Pig. 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.

I skipped a bunch down to some of my favorite stuff. Check this out.


For most other Chinese, the pig has powerful and positive cultural associations as one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac. Year of the Pig decorations already festoon cities and villages all over China.

Pork is the meat most widely consumed by the country's Han Chinese majority. On average, Chinese annually eat more than 80 pounds of pork , according to United Nations statistics. At banquets in southern China, people often roast whole pigs, decorated with blinking red lights in their eye sockets.