Monday, February 4, 2013

Did VW Air a Racist Super Bowl Ad?

PPPS (New Orleans)—Controversy has been swirling around an advertisement which aired yesterday during the Black Out Bowl in New Orleans, with some calling the ad racist.

The offending Volkswagen ad depicted "white folks" speaking with a distinctive Jamaican accent while celebrating a positive outlook on life. A number of media consultants and diversity issues experts found the advertisement to be highly offensive and borderline racist in nature.

We advise our readers to exercise caution while viewing the ad, particularly those who have had sensitivity training or were educated at a liberal arts university, and are white (Minnesotans may be particularly offended). Here is the ad.

We asked our own PPPS Minority and Diversity Issues Editor, Pigment-Challenged Pete, whether, after viewing the VW ad, he thought it was racist. His response, "Yah mahn, it be definitely so".

In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, we did find some people who were not offended by the advertisement, including the entire population of the island nation of Jamaica.

Today, the Jamaican government issued this official video response, directed to those who say the VW ad is racist.

Important Disclaimer: In the interest of full disclosure, we formally state that PPPS has received no compensation or advertising revenue in connection with this news story from Volkswagen America Inc., Volkswagen Jamaica Ltd, or from the Jamaican Government. But, we still have hope.

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