(Yicai Global) June 18 -- China's Zhongxuegao has apologized for the premium ice cream brand's misleading marketing campaigns after the founder's boastful tone in a TV interview caused criticism online.
The company, known in English as Chicecream, has been giving the wrong impression to the public during its three years of operations with misleading advertising, the Shanghai-based firm said in a letter posted on Weibo yesterday.
In an interview on TV program iAsk Leaders in early June, Lin Sheng had appeared confident about the pricey products' allure. Zhongxuegao does have a slightly higher gross margin than its peers, said Lin.
The chief executive mentioned the firm's most expensive popsicle which has pink cocoa powder. "It [Ecuador Pink] was sold at CNY66 (USD10) while its cost was almost CNY40," said Lin. "This is its price. Take it or leave it." The price is almost twice that of Häagen-Dazs products of that size.
Netizens complained about the Chinese ice cream chief's overconfident tone and doubted whether the products are worth the price. They found out that Shanghai's market regulators had fined the company twice in 2019 for misleading advertising.
Zhongxuegao blamed the 2019 penalties on its insufficient experience. The firm lacked a proper understanding of upstream suppliers and distribution channels in its early days, it said yesterday.
The brand, which targets urban consumers online via its traditional Chinese design and innovative flavors, sold 48 million products last year. The items are priced from CNY13 to CNY88.
The CNY66 product Lin mentioned was introduced during the Double 11 shopping festival in 2018. All the available 20,000 Ecuador Pinks were sold within 15 hours.
Editor: Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi