As I mentioned on the podcast today, I was a a day or two late on the Absolut vodka controversy. The L.A. Times covered it today:
The billboard and press campaign, created by advertising agency Teran\TBWA and now running in Mexico, is a colorful map depicting what the Americas might look like in an “Absolut” — i.e., perfect — world.
The U.S.-Mexico border lies where it was before the Mexican-American war of 1848 when California, as we now know it, was Mexican territory and known as Alta California.
Following the war, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo saw the Mexican territories of Alta California and Santa FÃ© de Nuevo MÃ©xico ceded to the United States to become modern-day California, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. (Texas actually split from Mexico several years earlier to form a breakaway republic, and was voluntarily annexed by the United States in 1846.)
The campaign taps into the national pride of Mexicans, according to Favio Ucedo, creative director of leading Latino advertising agency Grupo Gallegos in the U.S.
Ucedo, who is from Argentina, said: â€œMexicans talk about how the Americans stole their land, so this is their way of reclaiming it. Itâ€™s very relevant and the Mexicans will love the idea.â€
But he said that were the campaign to run in the United States, it might fall flat.
â€œMany people arenâ€™t going to understand it here. Americans in the East and the North or in the center of the county — I donâ€™t know if they know much about the history.
Well, I know a little bit about history. Let’s see, I remember something about San Antonio…what was that about:
In the United States, the siege of the Alamo was seen as a battle of American settlers against Mexicans, but many of the Tejanos sided with the rebellion. Many viewed this struggle in similar terms with the American Revolution of 1776. The Tejanos wanted Mexico to have a loose central government which supported states rights as expressed in the 1824 Constitution. One Tejano combatant at the Alamo was Captain (later Colonel) Juan Nepomuceno SeguÃn, who was sent out as a dispatch rider before the final assault. Other Tejanos include Toribio Losoya and Gregorio Esparza, whose entire family waited out the siege inside the Alamo.
The defenders of the Alamo came from many places besides Texas. William Barret Travis and James Butler Bonham were both from Saluda County, South Carolina, and Travis had spent some time in Alabama. Jim Bowie was born in Kentucky but spent most of his life in Louisiana. From Tennessee came another small group of volunteers led by famous hunter, politician and Indian-fighter David “Davy” Crockett who was accompanied by Micajah Autry, a neighbor and lawyer. The 12-man “Tennessee Mounted Volunteers” arrived at the Alamo on February 8. The previous month David Crockett had resigned from politics having told his peers that “You may go to hell, I will go to Texas.”
The ad has sparked quite a bit of outrage across the blogosphere:
- American Princess:
this ad undeniably offensive and incredibly and needlessly divisive
- Red State:
I assume they didn’t think we, up here above the Rio Grande, would take notice. But apparently, in Absolut’s vision, the world would be better off if Mexico took back the West. Perhaps they might first want to pay more attention to the Islamic encroachment on Sweden.
- Amanda Carpenter:
I’m going to have to find a new vodka to drink now.
Why should Absolut stop at pandering to Mexican Reconquistadors?
- Ace of Spades HQ:
You’ve got to wonder what those filthy snow-humping Scandis the Absolut vodka company was thinking with this ad.
- Rachel Lucas:
Being a Texan, Iâ€™m taking it asâ€¦Mexicans are sore losers, maybe? Couldnâ€™t get their shit together in 1848 and canâ€™t get it together now. So there.
- The Q and O Blog:
P.H. Potfry takes the Absolut ad campaign to its “oh, so fun” logical conclusion.
They may get their way. Mexico is waging a demographic war against America, which it has been winning with the help of our quisling bureaucrats.
- Stop the ACLU:
One would think that such a hot button issue would have raised a few eyebrows with Time Warner? Even worse, this ad never raised a fuss with anyone even as ads for other products were pulled because of â€œoffendingâ€ people.
Last year, a Snickers ad was pulled from airing on TV when gay activist groups complained that the ad, which showed two men eating a snickers and accidentally locking lips, was â€œoffensiveâ€ to gays. A GoDaddy ad was pulled in 2005 for sexual content. A pro-life ad was even pulled in Ontario this year because the pro-life message was somehow â€œoffensive.â€
Yet, an ad showing the west coast re-conqured by Mexico doesnâ€™t raise a peep?
- Sister Toldjah:
You may want to boycott the brand, after reading about an ad they ran in a Mexican magazine in which they portrayed the US and Mexico as looking like this (h/t: James Joyner):
- Outside the Beltway: Absolut Vodka has got some â€˜splaininâ€™ to do.
- Daily Pundit:
Why is it I get the feeling that the Absolut brand is about to suffer an amazing hit in the United States? Hereâ€™s a link to Absolutâ€™s â€œblog.â€ The comments are already rolling in.
In a day when immigration issues are incendiary between our two countries, Time Warner accepting ads that stirs Mexico’s sentiments to “take back” parts of the U.S. (as the term Reconquista means) as their own territory is quite extraordinary.
Rachel Lucas’ comment is my favorite of the bunch. What a stupid ad campaign. While you might get s few more drinkers in Mexico, you are going to loose a bunch in America. Makes no sense.