Beijing: A publicity stunt for a restaurant here in which over a hundred half-naked foreigners dressed as Spartans delivered lunches for the office-goers went horribly wrong, with the police taking them into custody for "affecting public order".
The bare-chested men, including white and Africans, wearing bronze shorts, arm and leg guards and capes styled after those of the people of the ancient Greek city of Sparta, were seen bearing plastic tubs of salads in the busy Sunlithun area yesterday.
Photos of the men, who created a stir by attracting many onlookers, went viral over the Chinese social media.
Some photos showed them in a pyramid formation shouting in front of a building, while some showed them at the Guomao Railway station in Chaoyang District.
However, the campaign organised by Salad Sweetie also attracted the attention of the police who in large numbers swooped and arrested some of them for "affecting public order" state-run People's Daily Online reported on Thursday.
The police also pushed some of them on to the ground while taking them into custody.
The crackdown came when they apparently went on a march on the streets with crowds gathering around to take photos.
Some reports said Salad Sweetie apologised, saying it hired the foreigners to convey a message of health and happiness on its first anniversary.
In China, any public demonstration or activity like this needs prior permission from authorities.