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 BeverageDaily.com online straw poll, and will reveal the results at 2pm Paris-time on Monday. Otherwise, drop us a line using the comments box below.