Mexico Reclaims American Southwest in Vodka Ad

April 5, 2008 · Print This Article · Email This Post

In the latest example of misplaced priorities rabid anti-Hispanic sentiment in the United States, Americans are livid over a rather clever Absolut vodka ad campaign which appealed to Mexican pride and was intended to be viewed only in Mexico. Say what?

The Absolut ad portrayed an “ideal world” in which much of the American Southwest, Texas and California belong to Mexico. Created by the Teran/TBWA ad agency, the ad’s graphics were based on a pre-1848 map made before the Mexican-American War. Infuriated and hypersensitive bloggers immediately swore never to drink Absolut again.

Mexico Reclaims California in Controversial Absolut Vodka Ad

Jeffrey Moran, an Absolut spokesman in New York, was quoted in the LA Times as saying: “This ad certainly has nothing to do with [the] immigration issue or anti-Mexican sentiment. It’s based on a historical perspective on what Mexico once was. That’s all,” he commented. In a Times poll, 59 percent of respondents said the ad was an “affront” to Americans and indicated that they’d be boycotting Absolut.

Eduardo Caccia, vice president of the Mindcode advertising agency in Mexico City, said: “This advertising basically taps into a very painful episode of Mexico’s history, so the cultural code for understanding that [for Mexicans] is ‘We were robbed’…For the U.S. it’s different. The understanding for that episode is ‘We bought some land. We made a deal.’ The same event, but with different meanings.” The ad campaign, which has been running for about two months in Mexico, was scheduled to end this week.

Paula Eriksson, VP Corporate Communications, Absolut VodkaAbsolut tried to assuage Americans in a corporate blog post written by Paula Eriksson, VP Corporate Communications, V&S Absolut Spirits. However, the response was vitriolic, with 95 pages of comments voicing anti-Hispanic sentiments. “Monique’s” comment was milder than most; she wrote: “Thanks for encouraging those idiots from La Raza!” Another person commented: “I am looking forward to the ‘Absolut Palestine’ ad showing the Middle East without Israel. It would hearken to a time which many Arab countries may feel was more ideal. You can use my idea without compensation. Just let me know when you run it. Thanks!”

Patrick Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard SALate Saturday, Absolut caved in and pulled the ad. Last week, Vin & Sprit, Absolut’s Swedish-based parent company, was acquired by Paris-based Pernod for $8.34 billion, making Pernod second only to Smirnoff in vodka production. Hopefully, the French will proceed as usual and not care what Americans think.

Photo credit: Antoine Antoniol/Bloomberg News and Mats Lundqvist

Watch an immigration fairy tale.

Copyright ©2008


8 Responses to “Mexico Reclaims American Southwest in Vodka Ad”

  1. anon on April 7th, 2008 4:40 pm

    And do so to their own peril as the 59% who said they wouldn’t purchase it. Economics trumps PC

  2. pajamadeen on April 7th, 2008 6:23 pm

    Here at Pajamadeen, we just love people with the courage of their convictions, who sign their name.

  3. Justin Wagner on April 8th, 2008 11:36 am

    it’s so interesting how it’s so shocking for Americans to see such as ad as this Absolute Vodka advertisement which basically states the south western U.S. belongs to Mexico. and yet, Americans see no problem with people such as those in Kosovo trying to steal land in Serbia. and even go so far as to condone the independence of the illegal declaration.

  4. Mark on April 8th, 2008 11:53 am

    Well…I dont have much problem with the ad except that the map is wrong in the first place……..if its supposed to represent a “pre-1848” version of the United States, Texas was not part of Mexico OR the United States! Texas had already declared its independance from Mexico on March 2, 1836, then two and a half months later (April 21, 1836) at the Battle of San Jacinto, we kicked the Mexican Army’s arse and captured the Supreme General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and only released him only after he signed a peace treaty which then allowed the formation of the Republic of Texas, our own Country! We didn’t join the United States until December 29, 1845. Which may I add that in the annexation of Texas there were the stipulations that the Texas State flag is one of the only flags that can be flown at the same hieght of the united States flag and that we are the only State that can still secede from the Union!!!!

  5. pajamadeen on April 8th, 2008 12:00 pm

    hi Justin,

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Your comparison is an interesting one, which I hadn’t thought of. 🙂 In general, I would say that my fellow Americans have an unfortunate tendency to insert themselves worldwide into situations they have no business being in (and often no one asked for our “help” either).

    Another example which springs to mind is – Cuba. We have been salivating at the mouth to get into Cuba to build casinos, resorts, etc. (No one asked us.) And the Bush administration has even spoken in terms of “when Castro is dead.” How rude! (Besides which, we are too late – the Canadians and Swedes have had the same idea and got there years ago to develop the place, hahaha. The embargo is a double-edged sword.)

    The other thing I often find disconcerting in the States is the…provincialism. People who have never been anywhere and assume that we are the center of the universe and entitled to whatever we want. The fact that Americans have worked themselves into such a tizzy over a vodka commercial which didn’t even appear in the States is well, it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic!

  6. pajamadeen on April 8th, 2008 12:06 pm

    hi Mark,

    Texas is a very sensible place. I love Texas, have lived there briefly and toyed with the idea of moving there. Yes, it’s the only state that’s actually a republic. I don’t think a lot of people realize that. Thanks for the update on the map and the Texas history!

  7. wargammer2005 on April 9th, 2008 11:56 am

    what fool thinks that enforcing the US border is ‘rabid anti-hispanic’???

    you have to be a racist to even think that in the first place.

    enforce the LAWS.

  8. pajamadeen on April 9th, 2008 12:58 pm

    Ah, here we go again. 😉 The story isn’t about enforcing the U.S. border – It’s about _vodka advertising_.