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Vietnam food producer Masan sparks furore with 'chilli sauce mausoleum'

Sunday, April 21, 2019, 12:32 GMT+7
Vietnam food producer Masan sparks furore with 'chilli sauce mausoleum'
Chin-su chilli sauce bottles and boxes are seen being arranged in the shape of the Chairman Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Photo: Facebook

A Vietnamese food producer company is being condemned by netizens for recreating a model of the mausoleum of Vietnam’s great leader Ho Chi Minh at a supermarket in Hanoi in an effort to promote its products, even though the company claims to have no knowledge of this event.

Photos of a promotion stand of the Chin-su chilli sauce, made by Masan Group, modeled after the Chairman Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum started spreading across Internet on Saturday, followed by many opposing comments from Facebook users.

“If you consume Chin-su products, you’ll be given a whole mausoleum? Such a disrespectful and offensive message to our great leader,” Nguyen Thi Bich Hau wrote on Facebook.

The promotion stand made of Chin-su chilli sauce bottles was displayed in Lotte Mart Lieu Giai in Hanoi, which belongs to Korean multinational corporation Lotte.

After the incident, a Masan Group representative told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the food producer had worked with the sales and promotion staff of the supermarket to discontinue the form of promotion, while also requiring those involved to write reports of the issue.

The representative went on to explain that as Reunification Day (April 30), one of Vietnam’s major national holidays, is approaching, Lotte Mart Lieu Giai has encouraged the promotion staff to decorate their stands to celebrate it.

Hence, the Chin-su promotion stand was not the only one re-decorated as other goods at the supermarket were also arranged in different shapes like a tank, national flag, and the above-mentioned mausoleum.

An opposing opinion of one of the Facebook users is seen in the photo. Photo: Facebook

A user opposes shaping the 'chilli sauce mausoleum' on Facebook.

According to the Masan Group representative, right after acknowledging the event, the food producer required the team to discontinue the arrangement of the promotion stand, admitting that the thoughtless action of the staff triggered a negative reaction from consumers.

“This is a personal mistake, but Masan still wants to send an apology to our consumers,” the representative said, adding that the company is ready to be held fully accountable while also being open to consumers’ constructive comments.

“We will work with Lotte Corporation to further inquire about the issue and learn from this mistake to avoid future repetitions,” the representative reassured.

Right after the incident, the supermarket contacted the food producer to require the discontinuation of the stand.

The Masan Group representative also assured that the model of the Chin-su mausoleum is no longer present at any outlet across the country.

While Masan claims they were not aware of the actions of their promotion employees, a representative of Lotte Mart said vendors usually rent spots in the supermarket to promote and introduce their products like Chin-su did in the event.

Such vendors are always required to send promotion models to the supermarket operator before receiving approval from Lotte Mart, according to Lotte representative.

“In this case, the vendor has ingored the supermarket and acted upon their own will,” the representative claimed.

The Chairman Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, former chairman of Vietnam, after he passed away in 1969.

The mausoleum is considered one of the most respected national heritage sites in Vietnam.

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