Audi scaling back campaign for Everest torch run

April 16th, 2008 - 6:43 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, April 16 (DPA) Germany’s Audi AG said Wednesday that it is scaling down a planned public relations campaign featuring its new sports utility vehicle on Mount Everest because of the political turmoil surrounding the Tibet leg of the Olympic torch relay. “We don’t want to throw oil onto the fire,” an Audi source said of its campaign that is coinciding with the torch being taken up the highest mountain in the world in early May.

Its role as sole sponsor of the Mount Everest relay run, however, would not be affected, it said.

The carmaker would not provide details about how it would alter its public relations campaign, but informed sources in Beijing said it would involve “a few changes,” including not inviting foreign media to events in Tibet.

China has barred foreign correspondents from travelling to Tibet and to Tibetan-populated areas in neighbouring provinces since anti-China protests and unrest, some of them deadly, broke out there last month.

Tibetan activists groups have condemned the relay run in Tibet and to the 8,850-metre summit of Mount Everest as an effort by Beijing to legitimise its control of the Himalayan region.

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