Coca-Cola Mexico comes under fire for racist implications of a new commercial depicting young white people on a mission to “share Coke with a smile” in a remote area of Oaxaca.
Consumer rights and health groups, in addition to Coke fans, have urged the Mexican government to pull the ad from air just days after its release.
Some critics are calling the spot an insult to indigenous groups for its premise-that a group of model-looking Caucasian people arrive to partake in a “faux philanthropy” service project of handing out sodas and building a Coke-themed Christmas tree for locals.
Then it goes on to say: “This Christmas a group of young people decided to give something very special to the indigenous community of Totontepec (Villa) de Morelos in Oaxaca. You, too, open your heart.” These messages display on screen as blond women and men cheerfully construct a red wooden tree and seemingly bring joy to the locals of the community.
The Alliance for Food Health-a coalition of consumer rights and health organizations-has called on the Mexican government to block the commercial entirely, arguing that it both attacks the dignity of indigenous people and contributes to the deteriorating health of Mexican communities, the AP reports.
Meanwhile, many others have taken to social media with their complaints about the controversial spot.
Coca-Cola has removed the ad from its YouTube channel and all planned televised spots, telling teleSUR that its message was misinterpreted.