Insurance firm apologizes for racist ad in Hong Kong

Posted at 06/20/14 2:52 PM

Hong Leong Insurance's ad was deemed as a "racist" for using a male Chinese actor to play a Pinay maid.

MANILA - An insurance company has taken down an offensive commercial advertisement in Hong Kong that showed a male Chinese actor dressed up as a Filipina maid.

"We regret that our recent advertisement involving an individual playing two characters resulted in comments about the advertisement being deemed inappropriate," said Harry Wong, Director and General Manager of Hong Leong Insurance (Asia) Limited.

The company issued the statement on Thursday amid the growing outrage the advertisement received on social media.

"We wish to emphatically state that at no time did Hong Leong Insurance (Asia) Limited intend to offend any person or be to any extent discriminatory on grounds of race, sex or otherwise," Wang said.

Wang added that the company's sole intention has been to make the public aware of the benefits of having appropriate insurance protection for employees, and in this case, domestic helpers.

"Nevertheless, we have taken action to withdraw the said advertisement as we sincerely do not wish to upset any member of the public," said Wong.