14657 - Wall stunt puts Ferrari in China's bad books

A publicity stunt by Ferrari to celebrate its 20 years in China backfired when a national monument was desecrated.

A special edition of the 458 Italia was lifted by crane on to the city walls in Nanjing where its overzealous driver proceeded to do donuts. Not only was the ancient wall marked with rubber, but there were also concerns there was structural damage to a protected piece of China's history. A news clip showed workers attempting to remove the marks with mops.

Ferrari apologised for the stunt, blaming a franchise employee. "Unfortunately, an employee of the dealership - not a Ferrari employee - took it upon himself to drive the car in the way that you will see in the video, with the very regrettable result that tyre marks were left on the ancient monument.

"Ferrari SpA has unreservedly apologised to the Chinese authorities and local community for any damage and offence caused, and has promised to work with the necessary officials to repair any damage caused by the negligence of this individual."

According to some reports, the dealership in question paid the Nanjing local authorities $12,000 for the right to run on the wall. The cost in damage to the brand could be far greater.