Coca-Cola’s ad shows an Arab walking through the desert with a camel. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee met with Coke and asked them to change the ad before CBS airs it during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 3. Super Bowl XLVII is expected to draw more than 100 million viewers in the United States.
Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said, “Why is that Arabs are always show as either oil-rich sheiks, terrorists, or belly dancers? “
Coca-Cola held what it called a “productive conversation” with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and apologized, explaining that it did not mean the ad to be derogatory. Coke also said it will change the commercial.
In an email, Imama Ali Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies said, “The Coke commercial for the Super Bowl (XLVII) is racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world.”
The beverage giant released an online Coca-Cola teaser of the commercial in question, showing the Arab walking through the desert. The Arab soon encounters cowboys, Las Vegas showgirls and an assorted group of marauders of the apocalyptic “Mad Max” who race by him to reach a gigantic bottle of Coke. In the ad, Coke asks viewers to vote for who they think should win the race.
In an email Coke spokeswoman Lauren Thompson said, “We did express regret that the ad had been misunderstood. We are very concerned by these allegations and in no way is our ad meant to be derogatory to any group.”
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