KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysian officials have banned a car advert featuring Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt, saying the promotion could be humiliating to Asian looks.
According to the official Bernama new agency, the move comes as part of a broader effort by the government to reduce the number of non-Malaysian faces used in local advertising.
In comments directed at the country's advertising agency, Malaysian Deputy Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin said the widespread use of Western faces in advertisements could create an inferiority complex among Asians.
"Why do we need to use their faces in our advertisements? Are our own people not handsome?" Bernama quoted him as saying.
Commenting on the Pitt advertisement he said: "We barred the advertisement as it appeared as a humiliation against Asians."
Hollywood actors and other Western stars frequently appear in advertising across Asia, where they can earn millions of dollars simply by associating their face with a particular brand.