Recently, on February 24, McDonald’s in France played a prank on its main rival – Burger King by setting up two billboards which demonstrated the abundance of McDonalds’ in the area compared with how hard it is to get to a Burger King.
Less than 4 days later Burger King quickly retaliated with a new commercial. The ad shows that fans of Burger King are happy to drive the additional 200KM for a bite of a juicy whopper after a quick stop in McDonalds for a bit of caffeine to keep them going.
This kind of advertising “war,” also known as comparative advertising isn’t something new to the western market. The wars between Coca Cola and Pepsi, Mac and PC, as well as many others, have been going on for decades.
However, for those working in the Chinese advertising industry, these types of campaigns could get tricky and have to be treated carefully. According to the latest Advertising Law of PRC, Chapter 2 article 13, stated that: “An advertisement should not have any content that denigrates the commodities or services of other producers or operators.” Especially in the medical field, such advertising is strictly forbidden.
Additionally , there is an unstated rule in China that you cannot have another brand’s logo in your commercial, nor can you state your competitors name. Together, these issues make it more difficult to achieve effective comparative advertising in China.