Absolut Vodka has an ongoing ad campaign called "In an Absolut World", wherein they portray images of the way things would be if the ultra-cool, with-it people who drink their vodka had their way.
Apparently, that includes the "Reconquista" of the American West by Mexico. One of the ads shows a redrawn map of North America, with Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, California, and Colorado, as well as parts of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Oklahoma, ALL as part of Mexico.
The ad was only run in Latin America, but the agency was stupid not to think it would be spread all over the internet lickety damned split. Even (or should I say especially) Mexican-Americans find it offensive.
And if the ad itself wasn't bad enough, check out their half-assed attempts at explaining and apologizing -- apparently in response to the huge backlash.
Sorry, Absolut, too little, too late. As one commenter pointed out, perhaps Swedish-based Absolute should run an add where Scandinavia is part of the Soviet Union, or where Sweden's neighbor, Norway, is still occupied by Nazi Germany. Wouldn't those be a hoot? The money quote is in the comments of an unrelated post in the Absolut World Blog:
OK, Sweden may have sold out a few countries in World War II, but it was not
meant to offend or disparage, or advocate an altering of borders, lend support
to any anti-Allied sentiment, or to reflect immigration issues. They were truly
sorry and understand that the action has offended several nations. This was not
their intention.To ensure that Sweden will avoid future similar mistakes, they
are adjusting their internal foreign army approval process for invasions that
are developed in local markets. This is a genuine and sincere apology, and
My first reaction was that not only will I boycott Absolut personally, but I will see to it that when I own my own restaurant some day, neither it nor any product owned by its parent company is carried in my bar, and I was pleased to read a comment on Absolut's website from at least one other restauranteur who feels the same way. Thanks to loyal reader and fellow blogger Patrick at Born Again Redneck, I have a handy list:
Café de Paris
Wine-based aperitifs and fortified wines
Old Tbilisi (Georgia)
Long Mountain (South Africa)
Jacob’s Creek (Sparkling)
Café de Paris
New Zealand wines
Marques de Arienzo
Palacio de la Vega