Absolut vodka pulls ad showing California in Mexico
Aboslut Vodka appeases Anglo-Americans after they throw a tantrum over a politically inspirational (and honest) ad.
Absolut vodka pulls ad showing California in Mexico
Mon Apr 7, 2008 9:35pm EDT
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The distillers of Sweden's Absolut vodka have withdrawn an advertisement run in Mexico that angered many U.S. citizens by idealizing an early 19th century map showing chunks of the United States as Mexican.
The billboard ad has the slogan "In an Absolut World" slapped over a pre-1848 map showing California, Arizona and other U.S. states as Mexican territory. Those states were carved out of what had been Mexican lands until that year.
Although it was not shown in the United States, U.S. media outlets picked up on the ad, and after a barrage of complaints, Absolut's maker said on Sunday the ad campaign would cease.
Defending the campaign last week, Absolut maker Vin & Spirit said the ad was created "with a Mexican sensibility" and was not meant for the U.S. market.
"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," a spokeswoman wrote on Absolut's Web site.
"Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Mexico may feel was more ideal," she wrote.
Absolut's blog cite has received more than a thousand comments since the ad campaign was launched a few weeks ago, with many calling for boycotts of the Swedish company.
"I have poured the remainder of my Absolut bottles down the sink," one blogger wrote.
A war between Mexico and the United States from 1846 to 1848 started with Mexico's refusal to recognize the U.S. annexation of Texas and ended with the occupation of Mexico City by U.S. troops.
At the end, Mexico ceded nearly half of its territory to the United States, forming the states of California, Nevada, Utah and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Mexicans remain sensitive about the loss and the location of the border. At the same time, the United States is fortifying barriers to keep out undocumented Mexican migrants.
Some Mexicans use the term "Reconquista" (reconquest) to refer to the growing presence in California of Mexican migrants and their descendants.
France's Pernod Ricard is taking over Absolut vodka, one of the world's top-selling spirit brands, after buying Vin & Spirit from the Swedish government at the end of March.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich, editing by Philip Barbara)
© Thomson Reuters 2008. All rights reserved.
April 12, 2008
ANDREW LISA: The Absolut truth: We can't handle the facts
By Andrew Lisa
No self-respecting drinker would ever throw away alcohol because of his principles. In fact, if I'm having a drink with someone, I'm usually hoping they'll throw away their principles because of alcohol.
But this week, vodka drinkers everywhere poured their poison down the toilet because they were offended by an ad for the company that sold it to them.
That company was Absolut, and the principle they offended was that since those dirty Mexicans already came for all our good busboy jobs and substandard housing, they can't have our maps as well.
The Swedish vodka maker this week caused an uproar after an ad aimed at Mexicans in Mexico offended white people in America. Absolut's original response was "to hell with those gringos!" But after realizing that vodka cranberries, kamikazes and dry vodka martinis aren't exactly Latino favorites — and that their core demographic is 24-year-old Americans with names like Kyle and Kara and Jessica — Absolut caved in, pulled the ad and apologized.
The ad called Mexicans back to a nostalgic time, before George Lopez, before Carlos Mencia. Before the mid-1800s, when the U.S. fabricated a reason to invade Mexico and then carjack them for half their land, including what is now Utah, Colorado, Arizona, California and — my favorite name EVER — New Mexico.
We're very good at using the name of the state as a way to condescend the surviving members of the conquered race. Many people don't even know that the runner-up name for "Oklahoma" was "Beat it, Injun."
The ad showed the map before America's third major war in just 70 years of existence, the Mexican-American War, and framed it with the slogan "In an Absolut World" — "Absolut" being code for "perfect."
Ulysses S. Grant — who is on our money for his leadership in that war, his victory in the Civil War and then his presidency — called the war with Mexico, "One of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory."
Wait, being patriotic WHILE questioning the motives of your government? At the same time? Funny how that worked back then.
But that was then, this is now. And now, the ad has been interpreted by some of America's Caucasian natives as a threat to their ancestral territory. Being that those Mexicans have already proven willing to sneak over to their former homeland for the privilege of enduring quasi-slave labor in American restaurants and celery fields, the last thing we need are Swedish booze peddlers stirring things up even more.
After all, you don't see the people from Jose Cuervo coming up here shouting, "Remember the Alamo!" or "short stops used to speak English!"
We don't need Mexicans fantasizing about re-taking our land. I mean, look what they've done with L.A.
Nice try, but if it's an Absolut world, it's absolutely ours.
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