It has happened time and time again that companies have had to publicly apologize for a mistaken and offensive ad campaign. And not just ads for that matter, simple comments can circle the globe and awaken extreme reactions. Here are some example of ads that had to be removed and apologized for:
Burger King’s “The Texican” –> a poster in Spain featuring a strong masculine cowboy with a short overweight wrestler, symbolizing mexican “lucha libre”
A most recent one “Hacienda”, a restaurant in Indianapolis making reference to a lamentable episode in history. Here’s the article –> http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110222/ap_on_fe_st/us_odd_billboard_flap_jonestown_3
Absolut Vodka and a reconfigured map of how Mexico would look like without Santana having sold over half the geographical territory.
And so on, and so on. You may find that the common denominator in the examples I just presented is Mexico indeed. Well, I may be a bit biased, those are the top of mind examples I have. The point however is that companies and brands all over the world are at times so over confident about themselves and their brand equity that they forget to test the campaign before even launching it.
Instead of preventing to spend a strong amount of money in recovery PR, they could spend a fraction of that with a simple pilot presented to a group of people. Particularly people that may be offended or vulnerable to the message in question. What other ad will be stricken next?