Coke's Super Bowl ad called racist by Arab-American groups

Posted By KATE STANTON,  |  Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:07 AM
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It's nearly Super Bowl Sunday, but some groups are not happy with Coca-Cola's interactive game day advertising campaign.

Coke's has asked viewers to vote for the winner of a race in their 2013 Super Bowl ad, which depicts Showgirls, Cowboys and Badlanders (a "Mad Max"-like futuristic desert gang) speeding toward a giant coke bottle. An Arab man with a stubborn camel, also featured in the spot, is not a candidate.

"Why is it that Arabs are always shown as either oil-rich sheikhs, terrorists, or belly dancers?" Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee asked.

ADC's director of legal and policy affairs, Abed Ayoub, took issue with Coke's choice not to include the Arab character in the voting contest. "By not including the Arab in the race, it is clear that the Arab is held to a different standard when compared to the other characters in the commercial," he said.

According to NBC, Coke wanted its characters to be reminiscent of famous films of the past.

"Coca-Cola is an inclusive brand enjoyed by all demographics," Coke rep Lauren Thompson responded. "We illustrate our core values, from fun and refreshment to happiness, inspiration and optimism across all of our marketing communications."

CBS, which will air the Super Bowl, declined comment.

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