Friday, June 26, 2009

Dear Bacardi and Bacardi Breezer Ad Team, You should be ashamed to say the least.

By Molly Hays, Communications Intern

Above: ridiculous, inaccurate, inappropriate and not to mention damaging ad run by Bacardi.

To insinuate the staff of Bacardi Breezers consumed too much product when they came up with a new promotional campaign might be a little harsh, however I can logically draw no other conclusions.

The campaign basically implies to the target women consumers that all they have to do to be hot is purchase Bacardi Breezers and find an ugly woman friend who by proximity will increase the consumer’s own hotness. It’s interesting that they think that by discriminating some women, other women will be more attracted to purchasing their product. But I like to think that women as a whole stand up for each other.

Apparently the campaign, titled, “Get An Ugly Girlfriend!” ran for two months during 2008 in Israel. The campaign included English and Hebrew websites and a Hebrew Facebook group.
After discovering the site many feminist websites and news sites featured the story. Readers responded and complained to Bacardi who promptly shut down the sites.

Bacardi officials responded to the negative feedback in a letter saying, “Bacardi proudly celebrates diversity and we do not endorse the views of this site. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by this site and thank you for bringing it to our attention.”

Later Bacardi released another letter claiming that the company never sponsored or developed the promotion and that a third-party developer created and carried out the promotion.
“As a Company and as individuals we are also angered and dismayed that such a campaign was ever created and we have taken immediate action to stop it as it violated our stringent global marketing principles that we firmly support,” said the second letter.

I don’t know who to believe. I feel that if Bacardi had the power to shut down the site so quickly that they must also have had immediate access to it. But what does this say about what advertisers think is acceptable, funny and appropriate? Where are we headed when discrimination and misogyny run rampant in advertising campaigns, especially campaigns aimed at the same sex that is being discriminated against?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

that is freaking disgusting. and right after i saw your status on facebook i looked to the right of my screen and saw this ridicuous ad: http://www.abbysdietjournal.com/experience/index.php?t202id=1838&t202kw=rt1a

i'm so sick of these not so subtle cues for women to measure themselves up to both other women and unrealistic standards of beauty, like in the ad above, the girl on the right looks perfectly fine. and if whether or not a girl is seen as "attractive" is based on foolish manipulation of photography, then what are we really striving for? get a picture of any person on a bad day and they'll look gross i'd like to size the people up who created that ad and plaster them all over a billboard and see how they feel >:-(

-Lauren G. UNH/DXP

crossxmyxhooks said...

agreed...this is super rediculous.....i am sick of people telling women that half of us are ugly and the other half are beautiful. I am glad Bicardi didn't endorse it, atleast as what they say...

Anonymous said...

Their response to my angry email....
TL

Dear Mr. Love:

We wish to thank you for writing to us about the past promotional campaign for Bacardi Breezer.

As a Company and as individuals we are also angered and dismayed that such a campaign was ever created and we have taken immediate action to stop it as it violated our stringent global marketing principles that we firmly support.

By way of explanation, but by no means an excuse, Bacardi never sponsored nor developed this promotion. But we understand it is our brand and our reputation and you are our consumers. We are also embarrassed that we didn't catch this breach sooner. We have been urgently looking into this matter to make sure this type of activity is never repeated.

What we do know is that a third-party developed and activated this brief campaign in one small market more than a year ago without our clearance. When we discovered this promotion, we instructed our distributor to shut it down as it did not comply with our global marketing standards. We are now urgently looking into the reasons why this program was recently reposted on the internet. In markets where Bacardi does not have a corporate presence, we are represented by third parties; in this case a distributor and its advertising agency, but they must adhere to our stringent marketing principles, which clearly this campaign did not.

When Bacardi found out about this recent reposting, we immediately notified the agency and distributor to shutdown the website.

Bacardi proudly celebrates diversity and we do not endorse the views of this site or the campaign, as it is offensive and completely inappropriate. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by this campaign and thank you, our consumers for bringing it to our attention.

Sincerely,

Bacardi Limited