Chinese web users have threatened to boycott NARS Cosmetics after the brand featured Taiwan actor Kai Ko in a commercial event last week.
On Sunday, NARS – it is owned by Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido – issued an apology on its official Weibo account, saying it regretted featuring Ko, who was detained for two weeks in August 2014 on the Chinese mainland for drug-abuse charges.
However, the statement was also accused of being insincere as it did not have a date, an official seal, or stipulated measures to deal with the controversy.
"Because you hired Ko, my friends and I will never buy your products," said one web user.
"If the star involved in a drug abuse scandal can make a comeback to the stage, can the police who are killed in the fight on drugs be brought back to life? Drug-abusing celebrities should be banned from showbiz permanently," said another.
On Aug 14, 2014, Beijing police detained Ko and Jaycee Chan, the son of kung fu superstar Jackie Chan, at the junior Chan's apartment in Beijing and confiscated more than 100 grams of marijuana.
Chan, 35, was sentenced to six months in prison in 2015 and fined 2,000 yuan ($322).