Poster Offends Supporters of Dalai Lama

August 23, 2003

Source: Contra Costa Times

On August 23, 2003 the Contra Costa Times reported that " landed in hot water with Bay Area supporters of the Dalai Lama after it distributed a poster that seemingly made the spiritual leader a pitch man for the business software company. The poster featured the Dalai Lama sitting with his eyes closed and hands folded in prayer under the message: 'There is no software on the path to enlightenment...' The poster was meant to promote a September event with the Dalai Lama hosted by the San Francisco-based American Himalayan Foundation., a longtime backer of Tibetan refugees, had purchased a block of tickets to the event to help celebrate the company's milestone of 100,000 "enlightened subscribers." It also planned to throw a party after the event at the Asian Art Museum with Tainted Love, a 1980s cover band... Instead, the marketing gimmick drew the anger of the American Himalayan Foundation, which called the poster 'offensive' and in 'bad taste.' The foundation, which said that the poster was printed without its knowledge or permission, sent back the $75,000 check, rescinded the tickets and demanded in a 'very strongly worded letter' that the dot-com 'straighten the record.'"