Another company has done something to offend a lot of people and, again, I don’t know how this keeps happening.
The car giant Volkswagen has apologised for a ‘tasteless’ advert that appeared on social media following an online backlash that slammed its ‘racist’ undertones.
The ten-second advert posted on Instagram and Twitter shows a giant white hand pushing a black man away from a new, yellow Volkswagen Golf parked on the street.
The hand then flicks him to an open doorway and pushes him inside a French cafe.
A giant white hand appears on the right hand side of the screen and appears to push a black man out of the way of the car. The hand then picks the man up and moves him in front of a shop
Social media users noted that as slogan ‘Der Neue Golf’ – ‘The New Golf’ – fades into view, the jumbled letters appear to spell out the N-word in German.
Other eagle-eyed users spotted that the cafe’s name is Petit Colon, which in French literally translates as the ‘Little Colonist.’
I can see how some enterprising bigot would conceive of this and maybe even how it gets produced, assuming the creative team is small and tight.
But how does it get approved? Do you have any idea how many people have to sign off on something like this before it’s live? The copy gets written and revised a million times. Storyboards are produced. Video and development crews execute it. Execs have to say yes at every level. And if something objectionable is happening, any person who touches the project in any way can pull the chain to halt the assembly line.
In my experience, I can’t imagine pulling something like this off even if you had an active conspiracy involving every C-level in the company. Somebody somewhere would blow the whistle.
If you want to argue that it isn’t offensive, that people are overreacting, that everybody’s a bunch of delicate librul snowflakes, go for it. Even if that were true the perception of the ad by the public is not only very real, it’s terrible for the brand. This causes people to buy cars from other companies.
I know there are racist assholes in the world. Plenty of them. I just can’t fathom how fucking nobody notices. I’d be grateful if you can ‘splain it to me.