While it takes a pause to refresh, the Coca Cola company might want to step back and reassess its advertising, says the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee. The group is objecting to an ad scheduled to run during the Superbowl football game that slights Arabs by falling back on tired stereotypes. Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV carries a Reuters report.

Perhaps Coke is only getting in a dig for all the years (1968-1991) it was banned from Arab countries due to an Arab League boycott. When Coke reentered the Arab market, it was tagged with the galling name, “Red Pepsi”!

Arab-American groups call Coke Super Bowl ad ‘racist’

Los Angeles (Reuters) — Arab-American groups have sharply criticized a Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad depicting an Arab walking through the desert with a camel, and one group said it would ask the beverage giant to change it before CBS airs the game on Sunday before an expected audience of more than 100 million U.S. viewers.

“Why is it that Arabs are always shown as either oil-rich sheiks, terrorists, or belly dancers?” said Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC.

Coca-Cola released an online teaser of the commercial last week, showing the Arab walking through a desert. He soon sees cowboys, Las Vegas showgirls and a motley crew fashioned after the marauders of the apocalyptic “Mad Max” film race by him to reach a gigantic bottle of Coke.

In its ad, Coke asks viewers to vote online on which characters should win the race. The online site does not allow a vote for the Arab character.


January:31:2013 - 08:13 | Comments & Trackbacks (4) | Permalink
4 Responses to “Things Not Going Better with Coke”
  1. 1
    Chiara Said:
    January:31:2013 - 11:38 

    “Red Pepsi” must be in honour of your Quebec roots, where slang for a French Canadian is “un Pepsi”. :)

  2. 2
    Jerry M Said:
    January:31:2013 - 14:05 

    I saw the 1 minute teaser. Given the nature of short films suhc as commercials it does use a stereotype, but commercials are always using stereotypes, they don’t have time to develop characters. In the commercial the Arab is portrayed as a more or less traditional person with a camel. He is also wearing the typical head covering so the camel may not have been necessary to set the scene but having a camel sets the idea of desert better than anything else.

    The rest of the commercial all crazy characters from US films. Doesn’t anyone have a sense of humor?

  3. 3
    bigstick1 Said:
    February:02:2013 - 01:56 

    The problem is that there are many Arabs in that traditional dresswear and many in the desert have camels.

    Reality is not racist. It is just a component of a known culture that many can find actual pictures which depict just this scene.

  4. 4
    John Burgess Said:
    February:02:2013 - 08:05 

    @bigstick1: True, but then there are American Blacks who eat fried chicken and watermelon, or Mexicans who wear sombreros and have mustaches.

    Stereotypes can be overdone and they annoy at least some (if not an outright majority) of whom are so portrayed. See the latest moves to have the name of the Washington Redskins football team changed.

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