BMW advert sparks online outrage over UAE national anthem

A Twitter hashtag "suspend BMW ads" began trending on Tuesday, with users slamming the “improper” use of the national anthem. (YouTube/BMW)

A commercial showing UAE football players in a stadium cutting short their recital of the national anthem to take advantage of an offer on BMW cars has prompted social media uproar this week.

A Twitter hashtag "suspend BMW ads" began trending on Tuesday, with users slamming the “improper” use of the national anthem and calling for the advert to be pulled.

The 30-second commercial showed players singing the national anthem, presumably before a match begins, but they suddenly stop once they hear the BMW car engines and leave the pitch, rushing to ride in the cars.

One Twitter user wrote: "So all you patriots could find was the national anthem (to use)? Where is the patriotism you speak of?"

Another user blamed the “materialistic nature” of the players to take part in such an ad, while others asked for BMW to apologize.

“We have noted the recent concerns regarding our TV Commercial with the Al Ain Football Club,” the General Manager for Abu Dhabi Motors - BMW's authorized distributor in the emirate - Arno Husselmann, said in a statement to Dubai-based Gulf News.

“As proud and loyal members of the UAE community, it was never our intention to cause any offence. We are an Emirati-owned company and so always aim to celebrate and promote the UAE’s rich values and culture, which are rightfully recognized around the world for excellence across all aspects of daily life.

“Out of respect for the feedback received from the community, we have removed the commercial from all platforms and are currently making a modification to ensure there can be no further unintentional reference drawn from it. The new version will be shared online in due course.”
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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