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”!
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.