Does This Image Offend You?

by Latoya Peterson

This Absolut ad is causing quite a stir around the internet.

Now it is worth mentioning the design is not something Absolut cooked up, but an old map from before the Mexican-American War.

Some commenters from the Consumerist said:

The ad is incredibly distasteful. Absolut executives would have be living under a rock not to know about the debate over borders and immigration that is raging in the US. Throw in known groups in California that are calling for a “reconquest” of the southwestern states, and you’ve got a powder keg.

To address a former comment, yes, a company should cater to the US when making ads, if they care to sell products in the US. Last I checked, ads were to SELL PRODUCTS, and ad execs that act surprised when political statements get people upset are the idiots. With this ad, Absolut has pretty much guaranteed that some people in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas will be moved to boycott Absolut products, and they’ll probably choose to speak out publicly about it. Maybe Absolut is fine with that. But’s it’s hypocritical to suggest that Absolut is free to do what they want (i.e., stir up controversy with their ads) and then call consumers idiots when they do what is well within their power, which is to fight back with their spending dollars.


It’s ours now. Get over it.

With this ad was made by a Swedish agency, I would say that they do the same ad in Europe, except obviously change Europe’s borders so that they are where the Nazi state stood in 1941.

Yes this is offensive.

And cde, Texas broke off from Mexico on their own, and was later annexed willingly by America.

The fact is that borders change during wartimes, that land is purely America’s.

And cde, an ad shouldn’t cater to America, and you should apologize for calling someone an idiot. This is about catering, its about not outright offending.

What if the ad showed America under a Confederate flag? The ad wouldn’t be catering to America, would you be happy then?
– JefffromNY

I don’t know about this, but the first poster made a good point about what if the campaign was directed to the Japanese and showed a map of the territories Japan seized in WWII. Taking it another step, what if the campaign was directed at Germans and showed the Nazi era territories that Germany held?

Or how about a U.S. Civil War era map, for a campaign directed at the Southern U.S. states?


Like it or not, Americans, we kinda took those lands through unprovoked aggression because we thought it was our god-given right to do so. Now, it’s a bit too late to do anything to reverse it, but there’s nothing wrong with bringing up historical fact. Nor is there anything wrong with people on the “other side” of the fence continuing to have a beef about it.


(And for double points, someone further down in the thread brings Islam into the fray!)


(Hat Tip to dnA, Crogirl!)

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo GarcĂ­a (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.

Use the "for:racialicious" tag in to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.

Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.

Follow Us on Twitter!

Support Racialicious

The Octavia Butler Book Club

The Octavia Butler Book Club
(Click the book for the latest conversation)

Recent Comments

Feminism for Real – Jessica, Latoya, Andrea

Feminism for Real

Yes Means Yes – Latoya

Yes Means Yes

Sex Ed and Youth – Jessica

Youth and Sexual Health


Online Media Legal Network

Recent Posts

Support Racialicious

Older Archives


Written by: