A popular Indian-language blog, Bharat Times, has accused a Chinese-based ad agency of using an “offensive” banner to promote a number of online dating sites.
The post, titled “Banner is not only a nuisance, it’s also a threat,” has attracted over 2,000 comments on its official Facebook page.
It said the advertisement for one of the dating sites in question, Viber, featured an image of an American flag with the words “banner is offensive” on the banner.
The ad agency in question was listed as one of China’s largest advertising agencies in the past.
The Indian-origin news website also published an infographic showing how Viber has grown since it was launched in July 2015, and how the ads have been widely shared on social media.
The banner was also prominently featured in a YouTube video by the website’s co-founder, Prabhat Natarajan, and other Viber users in November 2015.
The infographic was also posted on the Bharat-Times website, which has a community page dedicated to the blog.
The Chinese company that is the lead partner for Viber is Vipo, which is based in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
“Banner can cause problems for a company and its users, especially for companies that are trying to grow and expand their market,” the blog post said.
“But the bigger the problem becomes, the bigger its potential is for the company and for its users.
We have decided to do our utmost to prevent it from happening.”
The Viber ads are not the first to be seen on social networks in India.
A number of other popular dating sites were hit with complaints from Chinese online users earlier this year.
In September, the Delhi High Court ordered Viber to pay over Rs 1 crore in compensation to people who had been using a Chinese dating app that was allegedly misleading.
In February, it also banned the company from using the popular dating app Tinder in the country.