What the Fu? Backlash for Burberry Over Chinese Scarf Design

on January 20 2015 | in Daily Headlines Trending | by | with No Comments

A backlash is brewing against one company that’s trying hard to cozy up to Chinese consumers before their biggest shopping season.

Consumers on Chinese social media site Weibo are criticizing U.K. luxury fashion giant Burberry after the company rolled out a special Chinese New Year scarf featuring on it a monogrammed Chinese character meaning prosperity. This week, Weibo users widely circulated a company ad featuring a man wearing the cashmere scarf, on which a large red “Fu” character is stitched in bright red thread. The ad was circulated more than 14,000 times, with users leaving more than 3,500 predominantly negative comments calling the company’s taste levels into question. “It looks fake,” wrote one Weibo user, referring to the plentiful knockoff luxury scarves often found in Chinese markets.

“What the Fu..?,” some commented. Another Weibo user wrote, “Compared to some foreigner’s Kungpao Chicken tattoos, this Fu character is much less tacky.”

A spokeswoman for Burberry declined to comment.

Chinese-inspired fashion is nothing novel, with other companies having rolled out goods –ranging from French mogul Chanel’s whole Paris-Shanghai 2010 collection to New York up-and-comer Kate Spade’s Takeaway box clutch—to appeal to the market.

Burberry and other companies such as Ferragamo and Nike have in years past launched special Chinese New Year products for the holiday, which is one of China’s biggest shopping seasons of the year.

But many Chinese are miffed about Burberry’s sales tactic, they say. The limited edition with the extra Chinese holiday decoration costs $925, or around $215 more than its regular version.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

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