BUSINESS
12/07/2015 05:26 am ET

Coke Ad Shows Hipsters Bringing Soda To Indigenous Mexicans

"A painful metaphor of ongoing colonialism in the country."

Coca-Cola has apologized for an ad in Mexico that features urban youths visiting the nation's indigenous people... to bring them soda.

The video shows sad faces of indigenous people with stats about how they feel rejected for not speaking Spanish, followed by happy youths shouting and creating something in the familiar red and white colors of Coke.  

“This Christmas a group of young people decided to give something very special to the indigenous community of Totontepec in Oaxaca," the opening lines of the video say in Spanish, according to Tech Insider. 

The "something very special" turned out to be a giant lighted Christmas-tree-like Coke display in the middle of the indigenous village -- and, of course, plenty of bottles of soda being passed around. 

The video was roundly panned, with an analysis on the teleSUR website calling it "a painful metaphor of ongoing colonialism in the country: white kids storm the Mixe Indigenous community, as if a crusade, distribute coke bottles and build a giant Coca-Cola Christmas tree for all to idolize."

"I consider this type of advertising an act of discrimination and racist," said indigenous lawyer Elvira Pablo, according to Mashable. "It also promotes the breakdown of the social fabric by trying to impose a consumer culture alien to this community."

The ad also came under fire on Twitter:

Coke pulled the ad and apologized. 

"Our intention was never to be insensitive to or underestimate any indigenous group," the company said in a statement, according to Latino USA. "We have now removed the video and apologize to anyone who may have been offended."

Coke's apology may not be enough. The Global Post reports that Mexico's Alliance for Food Health is filing a complaint over the ad with the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination.

 

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