Apple won't use Dalai Lama in Asia

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HONG KONG -- Apple Computers has opted not to use the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, in the Asian run of its "Think Different" campaign.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner's portrait will not be among those of the personalities used in Asia, including Alfred Hitchcock, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Mahatma Gandhi and Amelia Earhart.

TBWA, which created the international campaign and handles the Asian buiness, says the withdrawal of the Dalai Lama's portrait was a "client decision."

Tony Li, Apple's marketing director for China and Hong Kong, says the Dalai Lama was one of more than 20 icons that ran in North America and "only a handful are going to be used in Asia because of limited media spending." He said the decision was financially - not politically - motivated.

Many industry observers, however, suspect Apple doesn't want to offend the Chinese government, which has been at odds with the exiled Dalai Lama for almost 50 years over the independence of Tibet, now under Chinese occupation.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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