It is an unfortunate truth that in the 21st century world of advertising, African Americans often continue to be portrayed in a demeaning and stereotypical manner. Within the past week alone we’ve seen several examples of corporations apologizing for racist imagery, including a controversial online Mountain Dew ad.
While I, too, was turned off by the commercial, it’s refreshing to see a major corporation such as PepsiCo take ownership of the situation. A Senior executive at PepsiCo, didn’t have to take my call, but they did. As someone who has worked tirelessly on media justice issues for more than a decade and founding RapRehab and as co-founder of Industry Ears, a media think tank aimed at addressing racial disparities, I appreciate PepsiCo acting quickly and appropriately in recognizing that the advertisement was offensive to many and quickly removed within 6 hours from all channels. Trust me, quick responses never happen from corporate giants but in this case it did.
Hindsight is indeed 20/20 and I respect that from PepsiCo. However, in today’s global and progressive media market, the very fact that racially offensive advertisements continue to be suggested, fully developed and distributed speaks to a larger issue – a lack of cultural diversity and sensitivity and the perpetuation of historical insensitivity that breeds stereotypes and fuels divisiveness.
Read the rest at RapRehab.com