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After the German car Volkswagen’s Super Bowl ad was criticized as racist for making fun of Jamaicans, the Super Bowl commercial for Coca Cola was also called racist by Arab-American groups.
The ad shows a Arab man with camels are walking in the desert and an enormous picture of Coke appeared in front of him. Afterwards, a group of cowboys, a bus of Las-Vegas showgirls and a Mad Max-style bike gangs past the Arab and a competition to get the Coke began.
In the end of the commercial, the Coke asks the viewers to vote online who will win the race, but not including the Arab.
This caused anger from Arab-American society. President of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, Imam Ali Siddiqui, told Reuters, “The Coke commercial for the Super Bowl is racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world.”
ADC’s director of Legal and Policy affairs, Abed Ayoub, also said, “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.”
The company issued an statement toward these comment, saying “We are very concerned by these allegations and in no way is our ad meant to be derogatory to any group. . .For this year’s big game campaign, we took a very cinematic approach, and all of the characters created are nods to great movies past”, reported USA Today.
USA Today continued saying that the ad still causes bad images to Coke. David Rudd, a vice president of an ad agency, said “Memorable advertising can be accomplished without insulting anyone."