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Chinese sweatshops in Japanese TV commercials


24 Jun 2003
The other day I saw the most bizarre and, depending on how you look at it, offensive commercial I think I have ever seen.

It was between innings during a Tigers baseball game. The commercial starts out looking like a documentary, with a Japanese woman going through a Shanghai garment factory and talking about how hard everyone has to work there. You see the actual laborers working away at their sewing machines, occasionally grimacing with the pain that comes from sitting in the same position all day.

I thought it was some sort of charity commercial trying to raise people's awareness of the problem of sweatshop labour in China, where most garments in Japan are made by people making only a few yen an hour.

After explaining about how hard everyone has to work, the woman says rhetorically "how do they manage to do it all?" Then suddenly an image of the package of some energy boosting pills springs onto the screen, and we know how they do it. After taking the pills, the workers get smiles on their faces and go back to sewing their brand name shirts and we are all encouraged to buy the product, with the assurances that if it could help these steadfast laborers, it can help us too.

I was pretty disturbed to watch the commercial because it gave off the message that not only was sweatshop labor OK, but that the situation that these workers found themselves in was something to be admired. The insensitivity was absolutely astonishing. Has anyone else seen this commercial? I can't remember the name of the product.
disrespectful to the Chinese
disrespectful to the laborers

I would appreciate anyone who could cap this commercial and let me have a look at it,thank you.
Aren't most commercials here in some way offensive to one minority? or majority in some cases.

We have the numerous kitchen wear items and cleaning products advertised using women only for one thing.

Heck I find anything offensive.
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