The offending photo that was used in an advertising campaign. The offending photo that was used in an advertising campaign.

Mezcal maker ad called racist for using fair-skinned person in advertising

Maker defends photo as an authentic 'Mexican moment'

A mezcal industry group has called on a maker of the spirit to withdraw advertising that has been called racist.

An image of a fair-skinned woman on a horse flanked by four indigenous women appeared on social media late last month to promote the company Mezcal Oro de Oaxaca.

The young woman, a social media influencer with 205,000 followers on Instagram, also posted a photo of herself in an agave field with two other models.

The two-photo post linked to Mezcal Oro de Oaxaca’s Instagram profile and featured the hashtag #orodeoaxacaexperience, which appears to have been created as part of a wider social media campaign for the company.

Scores of other Instagram users were critical of the post for its allegedly racist content.

“Who are the [indigenous] ladies? Your retinue of servants? Because that’s what it looks like. Another brand, again, making a pig’s ear of it. There’s a campaign behind this, there would have been creative people who approved what you’re doing . . .” Food Police MX wrote.

Twitter user Pilar Rosas offered that it was “horrible that Mezcal Oro de Oaxaca is continuing to fuel racial stereotypes in its ‘advertising campaigns.’”

Luis España, president of the National Chamber of Mezcal, said he wrote to the company to ask for an explanation about the advertising and to request its removal from social media.

“We can’t intervene in the company’s advertising policies but in this case . . . [the photos] generated a lot of noise and ridicule for the [mezcal] industry, which is why we decided to intervene to ask for an explanation and for the errors to be rectified,” he said.

Mezcal Oro de Oaxaca responded that it decided to use the photograph in question because it showed an authentic “Mexican” moment.

The indigenous women featured in the image voluntarily approached the horse-riding female model to ask if they could appear in a photo with her, the company said.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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