Nippon Airways apologise for racist ad

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All Nippon Airways (ANA) was forced to apologise today for an advert which critics claim racially stereotyped Westerners as having big noses and blond hair.

The ad sees two Japanese men discussing the view of the airline when one says: ‘Let’s change the image of Japanese people.’ ‘Sure,’ replies the other, who is now wearing a blond wig and an improbably long rubber nose.

ANA spokesman Ryosei Nomura said the carrier wanted to express the importance of the planned expansion of international services from Haneda and to call on Japanese to go out to see the world.

‘But we have received opinions different from the message that we wished to convey. We will modify part of the advertisement and will release the second version soon,’ he said.

The original TV spot was initially aired for Saturday through Monday and has now been pulled for now, he said.

Earlier, an ANA spokeswoman acknowledged the carrier ‘has received calls from customers, mostly foreigners, complaining about the ad.’

‘We apologised to each of the customers for having caused uncomfortable feelings and also thanked them for bringing up the issue,’ she told AFP.

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