Has Absolut gone too far with latest ad campaign?

This Absolut campaign run in Mexico showing a map where Mexico dominates about half of the US has caused a big stir. Michelle Malkin is calling it Absolut Arrogance (here) and plenty of other people are piping in. It’s a highly sensitive subject matter in the US particularly on the west coast.

Absolut have enjoyed a pretty amazing run with their brand over the last few years – so have they crossed the line? It appears they might have because they have since issued an apology (below) – but is it too late? Bad news spreads fast on the Internet…


Absolut’s initial response below:


The In An Absolut World advertising campaign invites consumers to visualize a world that appeals to them — one they feel may be more idealized or one that may be a bit “fantastic.” As such, the campaign will elicit varying opinions and points of view. We have a variety of executions running in countries worldwide, and each is germane to that country and that population.

This particular ad, which ran in Mexico, was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a Mexican sensibility. In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Mexico may feel was more ideal.

As a global company, we recognize that people in different parts of the world may lend different perspectives or interpret our ads in a different way than was intended in that market. Obviously, this ad was run in Mexico, and not the US — that ad might have been very different.

By Paula Eriksson, VP Corporate Communications, V&S Absolut Spirits

The Absolut Apology April 6 2008

We apologize
Posted Sunday, April 06, 2008, 7:38:29 PM

During the weekend we have received several comments on the ad published in Mexico. We acknowledge the reactions and debate and want to apologize for the concerns this ad caused. We are truly sorry and understand that the ad has offended several persons. This was not our intention. The ad has been withdrawn as of Friday April 4th and will not be used in the future.

In no way was the ad meant to offend or disparage, or advocate an altering of borders, lend support to any anti-American sentiment, or to reflect immigration issues.

To ensure that we avoid future similar mistakes, we are adjusting our internal advertising approval process for ads that are developed in local markets.

This is a genuine and sincere apology,

By Paula Eriksson, VP Corporate Communications, V&S Absolut Spirits

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. gejowski says:

    Oh, please, give me a break. Have the USA attacked Mexico? Yes, they have. Have they incorporated over a half of Mexican territory? Yes, they have. So what is the problem? Are you ashamed of American history? America has much more black parts in history than that.

  2. Amnesia — Frankly, I’m less concerned about advertisements than I am about miscarriages of justice. That said, I invite you and your readers to help me convince New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to PARDON PETER LYNCH. Lynch is the Air Force veteran who was found guilty of a crime after he removed a Mexican flag from the University of New Mexico after he found it flying alone, told officials about the violation of flag protocol and ran up against a “brick wall” before taking matters into his own hands.

  3. Bentos says:

    Flag insecurity, tut tut. Try finding a Union Jack in London.

  4. purple says:

    i wish the ad was meant to offend disparage or advocate an altering of borders, lend support to any anti-American sentiment, or to reflect immigration issues. oh well, i’ll stick to russian standard then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *