As Super Bowl Ads Arrive Early, So Does Criticism
Coke, Volkswagen catching flak for spots
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2013 1:10 PM CST
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(Newser) – It used to be that people actually had to wait for the game to watch the Super Bowl ads, but as the New York Times points out today, those days are long gone for Madison Avenue. Most companies roll out the spots, or versions of them, on YouTube and social media to generate early buzz. Some talkers, for better or worse, this year:

  • Coke: The company has an ad about a race in the desert (viewers can vote on who wins) complete with an Arab and stubborn camel. It's "racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish camel jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world," says the president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies. It and other groups are demanding that Coke pull or alter it before Sunday, notes the Hollywood Reporter. See it here.

  • Volkswagen: It, too, is being accused of racism for a spot that features a white office worker talking in a Jamaican accent throughout, reports Reuters. See it here.
  • Mercedes-Benz: Its ad featuring Kate Upton washing a car, or at least supervising, already has gotten more than 5 million views on YouTube, reports the AP. See it here. has more of this year's buzzy ads here.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Feb 4, 2013 12:00 PM CST
How in the hell is this showing racism!? Racism is when another race claims superiority. These super bowl commercials are not? racist whatsoever, they are to make you laugh not to degrade another race. People are so quick to point fingers at racism because they themselves feel inferior.
Feb 1, 2013 10:18 AM CST
Have people completely lost their minds? Nothing about any of these is racist. Arab struggling with a camel? Really? And a white guy can't talk in a Jamaican accent? I have spoken in a Cockney accent once, is that racist too? What the hell man?
Jan 31, 2013 9:19 PM CST
How to fix the Coke ad: have a final scene where everyone is lost, stalled, out of gas, or broken down in the dessert and the camel driver has the last laugh as he rides by and waves at the foreigners.