Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My favorite advertisement of the week

And it's only Tuesday!

Absolut vodka pulls ad showing California in Mexico, Reuters via Yahoo! News.

The distillers of Sweden's Absolut vodka have withdrawn an advertisement run in Mexico that angered many U.S. citizens by idealizing an early 19th century map showing chunks of the United States as Mexican.

The billboard ad has the slogan "In an Absolut World" slapped over a pre-1848 map showing California, Arizona and other U.S. states as Mexican territory. Those states were carved out of what had been Mexican lands until that year.

Although it was not shown in the United States, U.S. media outlets picked up on the ad, and after a barrage of complaints, Absolut's maker said on Sunday the ad campaign would cease.

Defending the campaign last week, Absolut maker Vin & Spirit said the ad was created "with a Mexican sensibility" and was not meant for the U.S. market.

"In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues," a spokeswoman wrote on Absolut's Web site.

"Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Mexico may feel was more ideal," she wrote.

Absolut's blog cite has received more than a thousand comments since the ad campaign was launched a few weeks ago, with many calling for boycotts of the Swedish company.

"I have poured the remainder of my Absolut bottles down the sink," one blogger wrote.

Well that blogger was not this blogger. I would have taken the ad even further by simply adding a vodka bottle to this thanksgiving comic.



Schadenfreude said...

I love this ad...people are way too uptight and I'm kind of upset at Absolut for caving to a bunch of whiny self-righteous americans. BTW - Hi! I met Steph in college and we're the bloggy dorks of our little circle of girlfriends. I read her review of your book and you know what, (and if Steph reads this, she's totally going to squeal) - I actually think I just started dating my Steve. Now I need to read the book!

Bianca Reagan said...

Hi! Stephanie will definitely read this. Hooray for your Steve! You should read the book. It's pretty funny. :)

Nikita said...

Pouring bottles of vodka down the drain just because they used an old map in an advert???

Wow... someone has their knickers in a knot! :)

Bitter Scribe said...

Something I don't get about this ad...if it ran in Mexico, why is the headline in English?

Harts said...

What a waste of vodka. Like Absolut cares what you do with it after you've paid for it anyway. And it's just an old map, jeez. I bet the cranky USians are only cranky because they didn't realize this is how the borders were once drawn (heck, I didn't).

@Scribe, it's common to use simple English in advertisements even when the target population's native language isn't English. Most people can read some English, and English is "cool" in some countries (not sure about Mexico). Even if they can't read it, the message is pretty clear with just the map and the vodka bottle.

Bianca Reagan said...

Maps are important to some people. There was a West Wing episode about Jed getting an old map of the Middle East. I think we should all know our history, even thought it can be inconvenient to some.