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GM pulls ad because of its ‘ching-ching, chop suey’ lyrics

Automaker apologizes for 'inappropriate content,' says it is conducting a full review of ad approval process

Published May 1, 2013

General Motors has altered its television and online commercial for the new Chevrolet Trax after complaints that China was referred to in a song as a land whose people say “ching-ching, chop suey”.

The ad features a man stepping out of a vehicle in the 1940s and going forward in time to 2013 to join a group of young people arriving in the new compact four-wheel drive SUV before heading off to a nightclub with them.

Lyrics to a portion of the song “Booty Swing” used in the ad are: “In the land of Fu Manchu, the girls all now do the Suzie Q, clap their hands in the centre of the floor, saying ‘ching-ching, chop suey, swing some more.’”

The Chevrolet Trax commercial has been running in Canada since early April, but the song was removed and it was also to be cut from all advertising worldwide.

The South China Morning Post was the first media outlet to question GM about the commercial’s lyrical content this week.

Related: Hyundai apologizes for ‘offensive’ ad

Related: Was Volkswagen Super Bowl ad funny or insulting?

“GM has stopped airing a commercial for the Chevrolet Trax due to the objectionable lyrics of a song used in the spot’s soundtrack,” said Faye Roberts, communications director for GM Canada.

“We apologize for the use of inappropriate content. We are conducting a full review of our advertising approval process to ensure this does not happen again in the future,” Roberts told The Star.

Last week GM sold its 1 millionth vehicle in China for 2013, the earliest it has ever done so in a calendar year. GM reached the 1 million mark in 2012 sales there by May last year. The car maker first sold 1 million of its vehicles in China by December in 2007 and the rate of sales have increased every year since then

GM last month announced plans to sell 17 new or updated vehicle models in China and to increase its share of the luxury car market in the country that is currently the largest auto market in the

The ad is the latest in a string of embarrassing ads made for automakers, including a Hyundai ad that was seen as being insensitive to families of suicide victims and a Ford India ad that featured various celebrities, including the Kardashian sisters, bound and gagged in the spacious trunk of a car.

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