KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Hard Rock Cafe has withdrawn a promotional campaign in Malaysia after public anger at the depiction of an orangutan baring its teeth and playing an electric guitar.
The campaign was meant to promote the U.S. chain's latest restaurant which was launched April 1 in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of eastern Sabah state on Borneo, a rain-forested island refuge for the endangered orangutan.
It drew sharp criticism on social media and from the Sabah government and wildlife groups.
Orangutans are native to rainforests in Borneo and Indonesia's Sumatra island.
Hard Rock Cafe Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday apologized for the advertisements.
It said all the promotional banners were removed and that it was working with local authorities to ensure all future advertisements are appropriate.