The Italian carmaker Fiat on Friday apologised to China for a television commercial (see below) starring United States actor Richard Gere that it acknowledged ”could disturb the sensibility of the Chinese people”.

The ad shows Gere, a long-time supporter of the Tibetan Independence Movement, drive the group’s new Lancia Delta model from Hollywood to Tibet, where he and a child dressed as a Buddhist monk plunge their hands into fresh snow.

The slogan that runs with the ad is ”The power to be different”.