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Viral Now: Coke ad draws racist accusation

By Devesh Gupta , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | February 05, 2014
The US-based soft drink giant's latest commercial for the US market for NFL Super Bowl has created a massive uproar on social media, with many criticising it as racist.

Coca-Cola's NFL Super Bowl advertisement for the US markets features homosexual and multinational lifestyles to the tune of 'America is Beautiful'. The ad that was released on February 2 showcases different immigrant communities residing in the US singing the song, which uses seven languages including English, Spanish, Hindi, Keres, Tagalog, Senegalese French and Hebrew.

The Coke ad

According to several reports published online, the advertisement has drawn a lot of flak on the social media platforms as many American citizens are claiming it to be racist and not in good taste. They are saying that the song should not have been sung by members of immigrant communities in different languages,instead should have been sung in English.

Katie Bayne, president, Coca-Cola North America said in a media release that the company does not have any plans to modify it or drop it. Instead, it plans to air a 90-second version during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics - set in Russia, which has recently passed a swathe of new anti-gay laws.

The ad has been designed by Weiden+Kennedy and it marks the eighth consecutive year when Coke has advertised in the Super Bowl. The video has already garnered over 1.2 million views.

(Viral Now is a section about videos that are catching people's fancy on social media).

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