PepsiCo gets its (Mountain) Dews? ‘Venemous’ ad sterotypes stir race storm

By Ben BOUCKLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Mountain dew

PepsiCo gets (Mountain) Dews? ‘Venemous’ ad sterotypes stir race storm
PepsiCo’s has pulled a Mountain Dew advert created by controversial US hip-hop artist Tyler the Creator, after causing uproar after viewers claimed it embraced racial stereotypes and trivialized violence towards women.

Odd Future rap group collective member Tyler the Creator has also made headlines for offending some homosexual people through his song lyrics, although he insists he is not homophobic.

The advert – which continues the big company online branding trend of attracting viewers through an element of shock value – features a white women on crutches (who has apparently been beaten up) trying to identify her attacker from a police line-up.

This reductive line-up features five African-American men and a goat, which snarls menacing phrases at the lady, such as “snitches get stitches, fool”,“keep ya mouth shut”​ and “I’ma getta outta here I’ma do you up.”

‘Mountain Dew should be ashamed’

Despite prompts from a white police officer to identify the culprit (the goat, it would seem), the woman flees, crying that she can’t “do it”​.

Sipping a can of Mountain Dew, the officer then says: “She’s just gotta do/dew it.”

Dr Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University finance professor, and Your Black World Coalition founder took to Twitter to write: “I think this might be the most racist ad ever. Mountain Dew should be ashamed.”

In a statement Mountain Dew said: “We apologize for the offensive video and take full responsibility - made a big mistake - we've removed it from all our channels.”

PepsiCo also felt the heat from a Change.org petition addressed to Greg Lyons, Mountain Dew VP Marketing, slamming the multinational for depicting black males “in the most demeaning manner insinuating that they endorse violence against women”.

Lone dissenting voice slams ‘PC’ USA

197 signatories to the petition – as we went to press, it was started by Ade Omitowoju, call upon PepsiCo to apologize publically and “institute a training program to counteract racial stereotyping in advertizing”.

The perpetuation of the ugly image of black and brown people already criminalized at such high rates the reason that many academicians no longer call the US a ‘free nation’, the petitioners add.

“How any company would want to brand its product with such venemous stereotypes is a case study for public relations. This is outrageous,” ​it continues.

But amidst a long chain of comments supporting the petition, one dissenting voice insisted that the advert was “funny”​, and that the ‘PC’ views of critics are “what is wrong with the US”.

Related topics: PepsiCo, Markets, Soft Drinks & Water

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