Russian ice cream ad using Obama’s image accused of being racist
A controversial Russian ice cream ad reads “Everybody is talking about it: dark inside white” and features a smiling cartoon version of U.S. President Barack Obama in front of the White House. The ice cream branded is a chocolate filled bar covered in white vanilla coating. The makers of the ice cream insist that they did not intend the ad to be racist, and say consumers should view it as a “joke.” The ad made the headlines after it appeard on English-language websites.
So, while Russian ice cream is famous for its rich taste and palatable texture, the question is whether it will stand the test of unscrupulous marketing.
Obama ice cream, anyone? Chocolate-vanilla ice cream is one of several Russian products being marketed using America's first black president, even as critics call the ads racist.
But the creator of one Obama-themed ad -- for ice cream bars which have a chocolate-flavoured centre embedded in a layer of vanilla -- insisted Friday that it was not racist and should be seen as a joke.
The ad for Duet ice cream bars features a smiling, cartoonish black man flashing a V-for-Victory sign in front of the US Capitol, along with the Russian slogan: "Everyone's talking about it: dark inside white!"
Some blasted the ad as insensitive after it surfaced on English-language websites this week.
Andrei Gubaidullin, who created the ad, told AFP that it was not racist and that Russia simply had a different attitude to race than Western countries.
"For Russia, this is not racist. It is fun and that's it," said Gubaidullin, creative director at Voskhod advertising agency, based in the Urals Mountains city of Yekaterinburg.
"We don't consider teasing ethnic groups racist. It is just seen as a joke," he said by telephone, adding that he personally liked Obama.