Pig censorship strikes again

zodiac_1516257087356From Redmart website

IMG_20180127_103323Picture 2 taken by me at a Singapore supermarket

It seems that Nestle Kit Kat has followed the footsteps of McDonald’s in excluding the Pig from their list of 12 11 Chinese zodiac animals. Yes, no mistake: there are only 11 designs, and the missing animal is the Pig.

Too bad for 8% of the Chinese population: no mascot for you.

If this continues, I predict that there will be no animal-themed merchandise at all next year (Year of the Pig / Boar). There will be no pigs on the decorations, nor any piggy banks. It will be forbidden to refer to 2019 as “Year of the Pig”.

Zhu Bajie has already been removed from promotional materials for the Journey to the West movie. The next step will probably include the removal of pig characters from George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Why am I complaining? Because this marketing decision makes absolutely zero sense, as McDonald’s has already experienced.

  1. The Muslim community has stated repeatedly that they are not against the depiction of pigs in appropriate contexts. They only object to consuming it. Nobody is being harmed by a picture of a cartoon pig.
  2. The target market for this promotion is the Chinese community. About 8% are born in the Year of the Pig. This promotion has unfairly excluded them for reasons that have nothing to do with the target market (Chinese people).
  3. It is not insensitive or discriminatory to market products only to non-Muslims. In Singapore, you can find tonkotsu (pork bone soup) ramen restaurants, char siew, pork sausages, beer and wine. If all these products are offensive or discriminatory, they would have been banned long ago.
  4. The designs are sold separately, not as a set of all 12 11 zodiac animals. If you buy them in the supermarket, it is not random, you can choose the design. If Muslim customers want to buy the container, they are not forced to buy one with a cartoon pig. They are free to choose any of the other designs.

If Nestle Kit Kat really wants to be inclusive, the company should produce a Hari Raya theme container targeted at the Muslim market, rather than deleting a design from a full set. Wouldn’t that be a better way of showing appreciation and consideration for the Muslim market?

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