This German Advertising Campaign Is Under Fire For Their Representation Of Asian Women

The company is being accused of racism.

On March 27, South Korean Twitter user @omniaamo wrote a thread about a new advertising campaign from the German DIY chain Hornbach. In the thread, the Twitter user, called Sung Un, revealed how the commercial ad shows an extremely problematic and sexualized image of Asian women.

The commercial shows 5 white old men working in their gardens, they look rough, dirty and sweaty as they removed soil and plants with their bare hands. The remove their underwear and passed them to two men in white lab coats. The underwear gets vacuum sealed and distributed in vending machines in what appears to be Japan.

An women then enthusiastically buys one of the bags with underwear that are on display, opens it and smells it with joy. The commercial ends with the phrase “That’s how spring smells” in German.

Sung Un explains that the Asian woman that appears on the commercial is represented as tool to make the white males that consume the brand feel better about themselves. The video wants to be humorous but it’s plain humiliating to Asian women and Asians in general.

She continues by saying that even though white men are a majority in Germany, in contrast to Asian women who are a minority, they still want to be represented in a good light versus how they are typecasting Asian women with a prejudiced point of view.


A hashtag started spreading on Twitter to receive a reply from the German company about this subject.


The author of the thread started a petition for the“So riecht das Frühjahr” campaign to be cancelled and for the commercial ad to be removed from all channels. She also demands the publication of the screening process and a diversity report of Hornbach AG.


Hornbach released the following reply to the commercial’s controversy.


After reading the replies to Hornbach’s letter we are not sure this fire will extinguish any time soon. Meanwhile the thread has been translate to Korean, Japanese, Chinese and German and has appeared in various online media outlets.

Source: Twitter