Luxury jewellery brand Tiffany & Co had to remove a tweet showing an ad show of a woman covering one eye after Chinese customers accused the business of supporting Hong Kong protesters.
The photo, which was posted on the brand’s Twitter profile, featured Chinese model Sun Feifei covering her right eye as she showcases a Tiffany ring on her right hand.
Chinese buyers were quick to accuse the business of supporting Hong Kong protesters, saying the photo was a deliberate echo of the pose adopted by pro-democracy demonstrators to denounce police violence in the semi-autonomous city.
Tiffany has since deleted the Tweet and tried to reassure Chinese customers that this was not the case.
In fact, a spokesman for the brand said the image was created in May before the protest even begun.
The spokesman says the image was, “in no way intended to be a political statement of any kind.
“We regret that it may be perceived as such, and in turn have removed the image from our digital and social media channels and will discontinue its use effective immediately.”
Nevertheless, Chinese consumers said it was still inconsiderate to post the photo now, even if it was created months before the protest erupted.
Mainland China is Tiffany’s third largest market, while Hong Kong is its fourth largest market.