Personally I have to wonder, does Absolut really sell enough vodka in Mexico to make it worth losing a large chuck of their customers in the United States? I'm sure that there will be a lot of people in the United States who will not find this ad offensive. But they will most likely be illegal immigrants or some left wing looney tunes who love to hate this country that gives them the freedom to be so irrational.
In response to a storm of complaints to the corporate offices Absolut left this statement on their consumer inquiry phone line.
“In no way was it 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,”
Which sounds to me like they are simply saying "Don't believe your eyes, don't take our ad at face value, just ignore what we said and believe what we tell you now."
Apparently the phone message didn't get people to stop complaining. So yesterday Absolut posted this on their website:
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 The ad has been withdrawn as of Friday April 4th and will not be used in the future.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
Again this boils down to "Oh crap, we were really stupid because we forgot all about the internet and didn't think you ignorant Americans would ever find out what we were saying about you in Mexico in order to sell our cheap firewater."
I think that Absolut's next advertizing should be back home in Sweden and should look like this:
Well I am not a vodka drinker. But if I decide to take it up I will certainly not be drinking Absolut. However, Absolut vodka was puchased by the French company Pernod Ricard in March. I don't know if this marketing champaign was started before or after the sale of Absolut but if you are a boycotting type of person you might want to check out the list of other products that Pernod Richard owns here.