Property developer in China accused of ‘consuming women, selling vulgarity’ for turning models’ bodies into floor plan brochures

Mandy Zuo
·2-min read

A real estate developer in central China has been accused of ‘consuming women’ and ‘selling vulgarity’ and halted from making sales after using female models as human brochures with floor plans painted on their backs, local authorities said.

At the promotion event in Xian, Shaanxi province, last week, two women wearing backless dresses displayed floor plans of a mid-range property project drawn on their backs to lure potential buyers, according to a video widely shared on social media.

In the showroom of the Xian Fengjiaruiqi Real Estate Development Co., some customers were taking pictures of the models while they posed on a stage with their back to the audience.

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Many have criticised the marketing campaign as “consuming women” and “selling vulgarity”.

“I guess the logic behind it is that women are cheaper than paper?” one user wrote on Weibo.

State media outlet Guangming Daily condemned the marketing campaign for objectifying women.

“This has put women as symbols of consumption in advertisements, making them a tool for businesses to seek profits,” a commentary on the paper’s website said on Tuesday.

“Such a publicity stunt not only stinks with money, but also caters to the lowest tastes. It’s worth thinking why it reoccurs frequently, remaining the ‘killer move’ for businesses?” it said, urging for harsher punishment for organisers of such events.

The local government confirmed the scene in the video on Tuesday and said the developer has been suspended from making sales on the project.

People accused the company of devaluing woman as ‘cheaper than paper’ after the stunt created an online furore. Photo: CCTV
People accused the company of devaluing woman as ‘cheaper than paper’ after the stunt created an online furore. Photo: CCTV

An investigation is underway and it’s unclear whether there will be further penalties, said a staff member of the publicity office of the Shaanxi National Aerospace Economic and Technological Development Zone, where the project is located.

Calls by the South China Morning Post to the company and the project’s showroom went unanswered.

In 2018, a property developer in Nanning, Guangxi autonomous region also raised eyebrows by painting floor plans on the backs of half-naked female models to promote a new development.

At a real estate exhibition in Rizhao, Shandong province in 2015, another firm attempted to attract buyers in the same way, even offering visitors to see the painting process.

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