No product placement in “The Beginning of the Great Revival”

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Updated: June 29, 2011

“The Beginning of the Great Revival” has drawn controversy due to one scene, wherein a woman gives her significant other—Mao Zedong—an Omega watch. The brand logo of the watchmaker is prominently presented on camera.

The cast and production team was quick to deny that it was a paid product placement. “It is definitely not. It is a detail of our prop design,” co-director Han Sanping told the Associated Press.

The actor who played Mao supported Sanping’s statement, claiming that there was not a single product placement in the entire film.

Omega is not the first brand to be criticized about the movie. Last year, Cadillac tried to sponsor the film, which led to some backlash from the Chinese. After all, it wouldn’t seem authentic to have a brand owned by the US government to sponsor a Chinese propaganda film.

Conversely, product placement has been growing in China for the past years. It is becoming a big part of the film industry.