Leica Camera in Trouble Over Video in China

A video posted on April 16, 2019 by Brazilian ad agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi a few days ago has landed Leica Camera in hot water in China, essentially making them persona non grata on Weibo (China's version of Twitter). The Chinese government banned the word ‘Leica’ in both English and Chinese and people who tried posting messages with the word ‘Leica’ received “warnings that they were violating laws, regulations or the Weibo community guidelines.”

Naturally, Leica Camera was quick to act and spokeswoman Emily Anderson was quoted by Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post as saying the video was not an officially sanctioned marketing film commissioned by the firm. You may remember F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi from the immensely popular "100" video of 2014.

Others cheered the video as daring ahead of the 30th anniversary of the crackdown on June 4, but the majority of posts were scrubbed from Chinese social media by Friday and the comments section on two of its most recent Weibo posts were disabled. The video was rather popular in Taiwan; perhaps not surprisingly. Read more over on Reuters and the South China Morning Post.

The original "The Hunt" video was quickly removed while a second copy was removed at approximately 2:55pm EDT today. Thankfully, there's yet another copy that you can watch below:

Leica-The Hunt | 强烈谴责徕卡辱华

UPDATE (04/20/2019):

F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi has released a statement regarding the recent brouhaha:

F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi has worked for the representative of Leica in Brazil since 2012, developing content for several different media platforms for the client over this time. The agency has created pieces that made history in advertising and became communication cases, such as the commercial “100”, created and produced to celebrate the 100 years of the brand, a work acclaimed around the world and awarded with the Grand Prix at the 2015 Cannes Festival.

The commercial “The Hunt”, launched in Brazil this week, is another among these works that we have developed together with this client and for which we have immense pride and are sure to have delivered a remarkable piece.

F/Nazca, a 25 years agency completed exactly this week, would never harm its huge reputation by creating, producing and airing a work without the proper approval of its client.

Regarding the pronouncement by Leica Europe, since our relationship with the brand is restricted to the Brazilian market, we are unable to comment.