Diageo courts controversy with Bruce Lee ad

Bruce Lee is the star of the latest Johnnie Walker TV slot 40 years after his death through the use of CGI trickery, but the fact he was a teetotaller has prompted widespread debate on social media with critics labelling the ad as distasteful.

The ad features Kung-Fu movie legend Lee in modern day Hong Kong and uses a mix of CGI manipulation and footage of a lookalike to depict him saying words which translate as: “Dragons never die, because dragons draw power from water.

“Water, it’s like instincts. Shapeless, formless, fluid. You cannot grasp hold of it. But let it flow and it has the power to change the world.”

The ad, tailored for the Chinese market is voiced in Mandarin as Diageo attempts to win further market share in the lucrative Chinese whisky market. However, Lee was from Hong Kong and spoke Cantonese which has further fuelled debate online.

Diageo was unable to provide comment by time of publication.

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