Absolut`s Reconquista Brew Draws Boycott Backlash
Is it wise for a global
beverage company to
pander to radical politics while alienating a much
wider consumer base?
Absolut, the Swedish-owned vodka maker, apparently
drinks to that. Last week, my e-mailbox lit up with
messages from readers and fellow bloggers about a new
Absolut ad catering to
Mexican drinkers who believe the American Southwest
belongs to them. (That extreme ethno-supremacist idea,
of course, is not news to anyone who has paid attention
to the massive illegal alien marches of the past two
"This is our continent, not yours" has been a
rallying mainstay.) As part of its "In an Absolut
World" campaign in print magazines and on
billboards, the company featured a large
color photo of a redrawn map of the continental
United States. The ad imposed pre-1848 borders on
America, with Mexico swallowing up
Here`s how Favio Ucedo, creative director of leading
advertising agency Grupo Gallegos, which was not
involved in the Absolut campaign, explained the
reconquista-endorsing ad to the Los Angeles Times:
"Mexicans talk about
how the Americans stole their land, so this is their
way of reclaiming it. It`s very relevant and the
Mexicans will love the idea." [Mexico
reconquers California? Absolut drinks to that!]
Oops. Guess he didn`t get the
liberal talking points manual: You`re supposed to
label anyone who criticizes it as a delusional
racist. And remember: The
National Council of La Raza ("the race")
claims that reconquista is just a "code word"
invented by conservative "hate groups" who are
dreaming the whole thing up.
Reader Paul Hergert wrote to Absolut:
illustration of Mexico occupying a large part of the
western United States is reprehensible for myriad
reasons. Not only is it an anachronistic and ersatz view
of geography, it also unnecessarily inflames
American/Mexican tensions. I understand that
marketing is to be provocative, but when it can be used
as propaganda for certain people/nations, it has crossed
the line into the political realm and is, therefore,
Bar owner Matthew Rogers of Pt. Richmond, Calif.,
sent this note to the company:
"I run a bar in Pt.
Richmond. … After seeing your ad campaign where you show
a western map of the United States in which California
is part of Mexico again, I`ve decided to do the
following: 1) Never carry Absolut. Ever; 2) Lower the
Ketel One vodka to $2 a shot indefinitely to build
loyalty; 3) Print a copy of your ad and put it above the
Ketel One drink special; 4) Tell all my friends and
family what Absolut thinks of the United States of
America and our
right to enforce border laws. I am on the frontline
of illegal immigration and its effects. Where are you?
Oh, yes, Sweden. Good riddance."[More
Absolut`s initial response to complaints was to hang
up on consumers who phoned and to delete their e-mail
without bothering to read it. But the controversy spread
California wildfire stoked by Internet Santa Ana
winds. In the first of two statements, Absolut Vice
President of Corporate Communications Paula Eriksson
attempted to douse the flames by touting the company`s
embrace-diversity ethos. "As a global company,"
pedantically intoned, "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 U.S.—that ad might have been
That arrogant, p.c. sanctimony had the effect of
pouring gas on the flames. So over the weekend, Eriksson
issued a new statement announcing withdrawal of the ad.
It was comically titled "We apologize"—and
disingenuously argued that "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. …This is a genuine and
For its part, the open-borders
Associated Press attempted to minimize the
widespread opposition to the Absolut ad from Americans
and persisted in labeling reconquista views
"fringe." I direct them to the speech given two
weeks ago in San Bernardino by Hillary Clinton campaign
Dolores Huerta, who railed, "We didn`t cross the
border crossed us" and gloated that immigration
enforcement is moot because the reconquista is won.
"It`s really too late," Huerta said. "If 47
million (Latinos) have
one baby each … it`s already won."[Huerta:
`Too late` to stymie illegal immigration, By Robert
Rogers, San Bernardino Sun, March 28, 2008]
Maybe Absolut should hire Huerta as its next
Fresh off its Aztlan debacle, the company announced
newest campaign this week featuring an ad titled
"Ruler," described as "a humorous look at
gay men and their fascination with perfect,
eight-inch `member` measurements."
The company doesn`t seem to have grasped that
left-wing identity politics and liquor don`t mix.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of
Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores.
here for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click
here for Michelle Malkin`s website.
Michelle Malkin`s latest book is "Unhinged:
Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."