CI members criticise Mexican Coca Cola advert
04 Dec 2015
Mexican CI Member El Poder del Consumidor have launched a joint call for measures to be taken against Coca-Cola for publicity carried out in the Mixe community of Oaxaca. An alliance of rights organisations, public health experts and members of the Mixe community have claimed that a video made by the company reproduces and reinforces stereotypes that present indigenous peoples as culturally and racially subordinate and is insenstive to the health problems of the Mixe population.
The video commercial shows a group of light-skinned youth arriving in a Mixe village, laughing and playing on the streets of the town, while indigenous youth look on. The young people distribute bottles of Coca-Cola and install a Christmas tree built from wood and the bottle tops of Coca-Cola bottles; the tree lights up when indigenous people turn the caps on the tree. The lightskinned youth pat the indigenous youth on the back. Across the lit tree are the words “We will stay united” in the Mixe language. The commercial appears on YouTube and uses the hashtag #AbreTuCorazon (open your heart)
Alejandro Calvillo, director of El Poder del Consumidor stated, “This advertising from Coca-Cola has produced generalized indignation for the use of indigenous populations to promote their beverages that have harmed the health of the Mexican people, including indigenous populations. This publicity is discriminatory, clearly showing two types of people: light-skinned people and indigenous people. The first are the active parties, those who laugh out loud, those who run through a town that is not their own, those who are observed by the indigenous youth. They enter in distributing their drink that has harmed the indigenous population in particular. They build a Christmas tree, which is foreign to the local communities own festivities and invite indigenous youth to light the tree, by turning the tops of Coca-Cola bottles on the tree.”
The Alliance for Food Health is calling on the National Council to Prevent Discrimination to pull the ad campaign immediately. The group has also made a video in which the Coca-Cola commercial is presented along with Mixe youth talking about the health and social problems faced by their communites.
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