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Approval Denied: Sexy “Lust, Caution” Star Banned From TV Commercials

March 10th, 2008

Chinese censors allowed “Lust, Caution” to play in Chinese movie theaters at the end of 2007, but not before cutting over 13 minutes of sexy screen action. The actress that we saw in so many compromising positions, Tang Wei, was looking to star in commercials for Pond’s, the skin care brand owned by Uniliver. Those plans have been nixed, the commercials all having been pulled by censors. No explanation given.

Many would claim this is about censorship, but I don’t think so. What was her crime? Staring in a film that was pre-approved by Beijing?

This one is more likely about slowing down a successful foreign company in China. Unilever is a $40 billion company, and Pond’s is doing particularly well there. Foreign companies in skin care have reportedly been increasing spending. It’s a hot market, and it depends heavily on marketing and image. Ms Tang was undoubtedly courted by all major skin care companies in China, each thinking that a contract with the “Lust, Cation” actress would be their key to marketing advantage. There are many companies and only so many stars to go around.

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