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Coke 2013 Super Bowl ad draws Arab-American race criticism


By Ben Bouckley+

Last updated on 04-May-2017 at 12:16 GMT2017-05-04T12:16:14Z

Still from the new Coke advert (Picture Copyright: The Coca-Cola Company)

Still from the new Coke advert (Picture Copyright: The Coca-Cola Company)

Several Arab-American groups have attacked Coke for a 2013 Super Bowl advert that shows an Arab walking through the desert with a camel, with some claiming that it perpetuates racist stereotypes.

Reuters reports Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) as saying: “Why is it that Arabs are always shown as either oil-rich sheiks, terrorists or belly dancers?”

Imam Ali Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, went further, telling the news agency that he thought the advert was “racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world".

The advert, which you can watch below, shows an Arab character walking through a dessert with a camel, who then encounters ‘Cowboys’, ’Showgirls’ and ‘Badlanders’ who race by him to reach a giant bottle of Coke.

With this in mind, a neutral might wonder whether non-Arabs don’t have the right to be offended by their presentation as showgirls or cowboys, but nobody seems to be that bothered in this respect.

Nonetheless, it must be said that much of the sting in criticisms leveled at the advert centers on the fact that the Arab character does not have a chance of winning the race.

The Coke advert even asks viewers to vote online for the characters they think should win the race, but the micro-site does not allow users to vote for the Arab character.

Well, we'll let you the readers tell us what you think, in this online straw poll, and will reveal the results at 2pm Paris-time on Monday. Otherwise, drop us a line using the comments box below.

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4 comments (Comments are now closed)

It was a good ad!

I'm an Arab...I thought it was a good ad!, alright you could have given the Arab guy a speedier camel or something if you wanted to be fair? But it was only a amusing ad and we should be allowed to make fun ourselves a bit, other than that it was amusing, better than their usual unmemorable drivel...If it's true that you cant vote for the Arab guy to win the race on the website though then that is an absolute MICK take and they should know way better than that...

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Posted by Saleh
07 February 2013 | 14h182013-02-07T14:18:43Z

Character blog?

Have you seen this blog?

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Posted by Cynthia S
01 February 2013 | 21h252013-02-01T21:25:27Z

Everyone Has Stereotypes

There were a lot of stereotypes portrayed in that ad, none of which were offensive. They're funny. No one won or lost that race, the camel caught up in the end.

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Posted by Emma Hyatt
31 January 2013 | 15h372013-01-31T15:37:33Z

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