Monday, April 7, 2008

An Absolut Apology... Sort of

The Absolut Spirits Company posted a halfhearted apology for their anti-American advertising campaign to their company blog on Friday.
This particular ad, which ran in Mexico, was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a Mexican sensibility. 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. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Mexico may feel was more ideal... Obviously, this ad was run in Mexico, and not the US -- that ad might have been very different.

Oh, it was a Mexican run ad, so all of the angry Americans should just shut the hell up. Unfortunately for Absolut, Americans aren't being blind sheep following their corporate masters. Here are just a few of the hundreds upon hundreds of comments posted to the site:

Hats off to the geniuses who managed to piss off a giant segment of the population of the world’s largest consumer market!
- posted by freshcut to Absolut's blog

Your non-apology apology does not fly. I will never Absolut Vodka again
- posted by David Logue

Would your company fictitiously eradicate the state of Israel in order to increase sales in neighboring countries? Would you eliminate Finland to increase the Russian market?
- posted by PubScout

You see it isn't just that you made a mistake. It isn't that you attempted to selectively market in a world that is ever more connected. It isn't that you didn't study the actual history of the region or the current regional issues. It isn't even that the marketing failed to consider the risks as well as the upside. Those are just the silly childish mistakes that every person and company periodically makes. (Though I do admit so many at one time makes one ponder).No - It is that you won't own up to any of these mistakes and are attempting to tell your upset customers to calm down in the same manner as a teacher to her class.
- posted by Kevin - Ohio

After seeing such a deplorable ad, I have poured the two bottles of Absolut we had in the house down the toilet.
- posted by Donna

I doubt many Mexicans would be happy with that map either. It would mean traveling another 1000 miles to cross the border.
- posted by Piso Mojado

We are done. I will NEVER purchase any of your products or others from any company that is affiliated with you.
- posted by Bob


UPDATE: Absolut has posted a full apology and has announced they have halted the ad campaign.
We acknowledge the reactions and debate and want to apologize for the concerns this ad caused. We are truly sorry and understand that the ad has offended several persons. This was not our intention. The ad has been withdrawn as of Friday April 4th and will not be used in the future. To ensure that we avoid future similar mistakes, we are adjusting our internal advertising approval process for ads that are developed in local markets.

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