Coke Ad Called Racist By Arab-American Group

    January 31, 2013
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

A new Coke ad, which is set to air during the biggest money-making opportunity for the nation’s advertisers–the Super Bowl–is being described as racist by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, who want to see it either changed or taken out of the commercial lineup completely.

The ad features an Arab man walking through the desert and being passed up by a group of cowboys, Vegas dancers, and several others in a race to get to the soft drink. Part of the problem, the ADC says, is that Arabs are continually depicted in a stereotypical way in American ads; the other issue is that the commercial was presented as a way for audiences to participate in an online vote to see who of the group should reach the Coke first. The Arab man wasn’t an option.

“The Coke commercial for the Super Ball is racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world,” Imam Ali Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, said.

Coke insists they are an all-inclusive brand and that it is never their intention to push away a potential customer base, but Abed Ayoub of the ADC says that’s exactly what they’re doing.

“What message is Coke sending with this?” he said. “By not including the Arab in the race, it is clear that the Arab is held to a different standard when compared to the other characters in the commercial. Coke should understand and respect their consumers and have a better understanding of the market they are sharing,”

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The ADC hopes to speak with the company in order to get the ad changed before Sunday.

  • Kim

    Giving voice to this ridiculous whining only precipitates more of the same. Shame on Amanda Crum for writing it, and WebProNews for publishing it.

    • pat

      you are an idiot

  • Matt

    I love the ad!!

  • emily

    give me a break. who even said he was an arab? why couldn’t he be a European, American or Spanish ethnicity on a desert tour? there are trips offered like that. I knew exactly which movies the others came from. I thought it was funny. I barely even noticed the camel…..

    • danny salmon

      maybe it was Peter O’toole

  • Frank J Concepcion

    Too bad the Arab community wasn’t this offended, and respond this quickly back on 9/11; I like the Ad, lets move forward.

  • brian

    I think Arabs should be more worried about the bad press they receive from i dont know suicide bombings, oppressive governments, terrorism…



  • Lynn

    This ad was focused on the Cowboys and Las Vegas showgirls. This is America and your free to go back to the country that your family came from. No one likes those people or will ever since 911.

  • joe

    Instead of the “camel jockey” stereotype, would they have preferred the more realistic depiction of the crazed Muslim rioter sodomizing an American diplomat with a broom handle?

    The “camel jockey” was used, in part because a more realistic depiction of a modern day Arab Muslim would be even more unflattering, and thus more offensive, to these groups.

  • H.Jackson

    Hey Imam, Mr. president of the Muslim institute, we didn’t call them backwards and foolish”camel jockeys”. You just did!……go figure. Anything for attention huh?

  • Peter B.

    I am encoraged by the comments already posted with regard to this ad. I wqas worried that it would be just me again wondering when we became a country of such wimps!! To call that ad racist simply tells me that the accusations are coming from people with just too damn much time on their hands. Check please!

  • Truc

    Thought it was great, not everything is Racist

    • danny salmon

      A bigger question might be who cares who wins the Superbowl?

  • Gail

    Having trouble figuring out what is racist about that commercial. The clothing, no. The camel, no. Actually, camels are known to be stubborn animals. The word racist used to mean that someone spoke or portrayed someone in a derrogatory or insulting manner. Now it appears that it means, if I am not the star, not portrayed as the best, if I have warts, then you are a racist.

  • Kelly Hersel

    The Coke Ad, The VW Ad, They are all funny and entertaining. If we as a country don’t pull our collective heads out of our you-know-what we will PC ourselves out of exsistence. Give me a break !!!!

  • http://coke Laura


    • danny salmon

      Im half Irish and Im offened by nearly everything.

  • http://coke Laura


    • danny salmon

      Heres a novel idea, maybe we should make friends with the guys who have the oil, and not worry about the guys who have the coke.

  • http://dly-books.weebly.com David

    The Arabs are so thin skinned and suffer from a permanent inferiority complex. Anything they see or hear that doesn’t praise them directly is taken as rude, racist and derogatory. For a people who gave us much maths and chemistry hundreds of years ago, this is a VERY SAD situation!

    • alex

      ohhh please the commercial was fine maybe the arab should have feed his camel before he went into the desert lol people need to get over themselves!!!!

      • danny salmon

        Is it really still this hard to sell coke?

  • alex

    ohh please this commercial was fine maybe if the Arab feed his camel before he went into the desert he would’ve been able to keep up

  • chillyJ

    So now it’s racist that camels are slower than buses, horses and motorcycles? Any cowboys/vaqueros out there wanna wave the racist flag because they didn’t get to the giant fake Coke bottle in the desert first? How about Mad Max? Where are you Max? Your boys didn’t win the giant fake Coke bottle in the desert either. Racist right? Actually, I think Coke is teaching an important lesson here. If you ever find yourself in a cut-throat race for a giant fake coke bottle in the desert don’t ride a camel…you’re probably gonna lose. Let’s lighten up humans. If the Arabs could laugh at themselves once in a while raising hell about absurd things like this wouldn’t even cross their minds. Don’t live in the desert and you won’t be so angry all the time. Now THAT’S racist!!

  • alex

    ohh please this commercial was fine maybe if the Arab feed his camel before he went into the desert he would’ve been able to keep up

  • Kitten

    Sorry, but I don’t see an issue here. I thought it was fun!

  • michael

    So, how exactly is this racist? I guess if you call it racist against the HUMAN race. stupid Muslims groups. Get over yourselves. Grow some thicker skin. My gosh.

  • Princes of the port city

    Maybe the commercial was about a group of people ill-prepared for the heat of the dessert run past a man and his camel for quench their thirst. The man with the camel is obviously not in need of quenching his thirst since he is appropriately dressed.

  • Phil

    Who care’s what they think… Go for it… I’m tired of the “poor pitty me”…

  • d

    I don’t think they should be in the race(human)if they found that offensive.

  • Jim Chadnler

    Imam Siddiqui shouldn’t be offended. Arabs
    ARE backward and foolish. The only reason they are where they are is because of the oil that they have. When that runs out they will revert to the 12th century as their religion requires.

  • Leon

    we should give them all cokes,so they can live in :Hamony

  • http://yahoo Debra Kelly

    I read the ad was racist. I watched the ad..then watched it a second time. Finally I had to research why it was “racist.” I still don’t get it.I hope Coke plays the ad as scheduled just to make a statement (and it won’t be about coke).

  • toby

    it didnt show me the video

  • Eric Smith

    Arabs are so quick to whine and complain about the smallest issues, claiming insult where none was intended. I am surprised that there are no riots in the Middle East over this. Crazed Arabs burning American flags and plastic Coke bottles – empty of course, because the American Satan’s beverage is so damn tasty…

  • JDavis

    I think the people upset about this should spend a few more calories worried about how Arab nations treat their women. That’s what makes them look “backward.”

    • John

      Good point!!!!!!!!!

  • MJ

    My first thought was it was a take off of movies — Lawrence of Arabia, some western, Mad Max, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. That would mean the guy with the camel is an Englishman.

    • B

      I’m sure a young white girl or boy will get the coke in the end, and everyone will say how cute. I LOVE AMERICAN MARKETING!!!!

      • danny salmon

        I think its about time the white power structure went after
        the Eskimos and the Amish and leave the Arabs be.

    • http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/j-c-penney-ceo-become-america-favorite-company-160649186.html tc53

      I’m with you MJ

  • christopher

    What is all the fuss, even the common people of Saudi Arabia can’t have coke because it is reserved for the royal family alone. There are different standards between the common and royalty there so what is all the fuss about. There are no Arab Americans…we do not accept any hyphenated attempts to unsurp the constitution based on some religious leaders views of what is right and wrong. If ya can’t have a laugh then have a pepsi insted.

    • Diana

      Ya pepsi pepsi cheeseburger!!!

      • http://yahoo MIA

        I agree! If youre not an “american” then get out!! I REFUSE to call blacks “african american”, until they start calling me “european american”. I dont want to hear their stupid whiny crap. Id gladly pay their boat fair to send them back to africa for all the problems they cause! Same with the “arab americans”. If youre not an “american” no ones holding you hostage here, LEAVE.

  • alisha

    Does not depict arabs in a negative way. Simply all cultures racing for a coke.

    • Diana

      You would think

  • yontme72203

    seriously, Racist coming from people who are taught from birth to hate Americans and that we all must die. I like the commercial and I forgot about the arab dude 10 seconds in to the commercial. I for one get tired of worrying who we are or are not going to offend.This is America the land of the free and if you don’t like it, ride your camel back to the house.

    • Diana


    • Diana

      Ok you heard the lady….lol!

    • Matt

      I am an American and find it offensive that you say “Arab” people are taught to hate Americans from birth and that we all must die. That is not the case, it is a small group of people that our terrorists. And if you look into the history of what is happening in the Middle East, it us the Americans that started a lot of the hatred. We have put bases on their holy land. We do whatever we want for oil and lithium ion on their land. This has been happening since the 50’s and has only gotten worse as time has gone on. Learn your history and don’t judge a large group of people but looking at a small one.

      • http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/j-c-penney-ceo-become-america-favorite-company-160649186.html tc53

        Matt, they cry enough on their own without you crying for them. Move over there and maybe you can blow up some mean ol’ Americans with them.

      • danny salmon

        Maybe if Arabs played football they would be more accepting
        of the ad?

  • Diana

    I love it.. the Arabs its all about them they are not on this earth alone.They get up tight about everything its like this darn if you do and darned if you don’t.They want to control everything.
    They see themselfs as perfect.

  • Diana


  • Edy

    why are “arabs” such little babies . . gotta get butt hurt over everything. . freaking cry babies . .. grow a pair

  • stevens

    You racist ass arabs have the nerve to talk about being racist it was justa commercial so shut it up and keep moving!

  • Eric

    Hmmm, and the ‘cowboys’, ‘showgirls’, and ‘badlanders’ are not stereotypical?

    Actually, they should be happy, since the Arabic man seems to be the only one shown smart enough NOT to run around the desert chasing a soft drink high in sodium.

    • Patricia Cesaro

      the further mankind pushes to gain on the rest of humanity….the more inane the end game seems to me.

  • http://yahoo MIA

    perhaps they should have depicted the arabs in terrorist garb and sporting a stolen vehicle while toting assault rifles and shooting at little girls who dont like the taliban and want an education???

    • danny salmon

      Coke might be a bad choice for a desert drink. H2O may be better.

  • Craig Smith

    Some people just have too much time on their hands. Everybody just needs to relax.

  • Matt

    There are a lot of hateful people out there, wow!! Maybe the Arabs from commercial are the smart ones and take a shortcut to the Coke, they know its 50 miles away. What people should be mad about is that they use kilometers not miles, this commercial is not factual

    • danny salmon

      And the Mad max guys are?

  • Superman

    Because there are no camels in the desert. And because there are no turban-wearing Arabs. And because there are no turban-wearing camel-owning Arabs in the desert.


  • Bill Ward

    The responses on this page are amazing. They show the incredible amount of racism there is in this society. Very few racists realize that they are racists. Also, most Americans have never been to the Arab World. As an Anglo-American who lived in the Arab World for 6 years and who loved the experience there, I am embarrassed by the incredible amount of ignorance found in the US.

    • Eric Smith

      Oh, screw you! I lived around Arabs (Muslim and non-Muslim) and non-Arab Muslims for most of my childhood, into my early adulthood. First of all, a VERY large amount of Muslims consider non-Muslim to worth nothing. And Arabs consider themselves better than everybody else, including other (non-Arab) Muslims. Arabs are extremely demanding and expect their host countries to cater to them but absolutely intolerant to other cultures. Why are we racists for saying that enough is enough?
      I agree that all minorities in our country should have equal rights and treatment… but not better and special treatment. Period.

    • danny salmon

      But American ignorance is what keeps coke and football going.

  • B


  • http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/j-c-penney-ceo-become-america-favorite-company-160649186.html tc53

    who cares what the towelheads say?

    • craggie

      Nobama cares…he’s one of them!!

  • craggie

    The ones that seem to cheer every attack on America are dressed much worse that the ‘sheik’ appeared to look in the commercial. Maybe if the Muslims/Arabs themselves would get out of their 4th century mentality, and loosen up on their beheadings on a daily basis, then the world would look at them as not a bunch of camel jockies!!

  • Terry

    I think the ad makes no sense. It’s not that funny at all. They show a small clip of a guy walking a camel, we see our convenience stores and hotels owned by towel heads every day. Shouldn’t we be offended. Besides, the guy isn’t a real Arab anyway. We may need to offer them some cheese with that wine.

  • Rhonda Cochrane

    Thats hilarious, nothing racist that I can see, just humor, lighten up people, quit starting trouble, where there is NONE!!

  • David

    Even more striking about the specifically anti-Arab xenophobia equivalent to racism in some of the comments above is the variety of self-deceiving ruses and false analogies Americans are accustomed to use to deny the dispicable racism so endemic to this culture.

  • leemurr

    To Coca-Cola – please do not pull this ad. Do not succumb to this ridiculous statement.

  • mike

    If this is racist–then should cowboys be offended shown with horses, cyclist with motorcycles, or women (of all things) in a pink bus! If anything it shows the restraint of the gentlemen with the camel not racing after the coke! Many ways to view this ad with out always tryihg to make something negative.

  • Donnie

    Really? Racist? Things in this country couldnt get more ridiculous. There are cowboys in the damn commercial and people from mad maxx its suppose to be commical. I think if they wanted to be racist they would be blatant or not at all. Besides if coke wanted to be racist they just eliminate millions of dollars in revenue. Seems like a pretty stupid thing to do. If I were a woman I would complain that its sexist as well. Why do women have to wear skantaly clad clothes in every commercial? End rant.

  • ray

    what Idiots enough said.

  • stacy

    Racist?? are you kidding me? I’ll echo another comment on here-whoever called this racist should use their time and energy doing something more constructive-perhaps you should worry about how women in the arab nations are treated. Pieces of sh#&. Go drink your coke and shut the he## up!!

  • dave

    excellent, NOW everyone will be waiting to see that specific commercial, to see if it was altered. Brilliant move, reminds me of the “new coke – classic coke” back in the day.

  • Dee

    I didn’t get a racist vibe from it. It was supposedly a mirage paradox. Come on, guys. You are really grasping at straws, here.

  • http://google Tom

    I agree 100% ! It is racist…….they should never have put that poor camel in a soda commercial !!!


    let the arabs bitch They didn’t have to WATCH THE AD.



  • billy

    I watched the ad and then read the article. I had no idea what could possibly be “racist” about that ad after viewing it. The complaint is a stretch and is just crazy in my opinion.

  • Mike

    Was there this many rampant accusations of “racism” when the Asian actor speaking in a fake Scottish accent did a commercial for Starburst candy? No? Maybe that’s because Scottish people didn’t give a damned? Or could it be that maybe it’s ƒucking TRIVIAL and NOT RACIST?

    • danny salmon

      Frankly Im outraged by everyones sense of outrage.

  • Mike

    Here’s a list of other highly disturbing “racist” things: talking Pandas doing ads for Panda Express (or even that darned Kung Fu Panda… now THAT was racist!). English muffins, German beer, Hello Kitty dressed as a Geisha, the Taco Bell chihuahua from years ago… um, fried chicken commercials with black people in them… oh fuck! Maybe it’s ME? Maybe it’s just if I THINK something might be linked to a particular people from another part of the world, then that makes ME the racist? Oh no!! I didn’t mean to! I’m SORRY! What else do you want? Should the part of the man going through the desert with a camel have been played by a white lady?

  • danny salmon

    What would Jesus drink?

  • FTW

    WOW.. People are such babies. But then again here is the great Country of America, that is what we are all about. Everyone complains about being wronged all the time. The arabs bc their camels are too slow, the blacks because they were enslaved forever ago, the mexicans because they come into the country illegally and want the same rights as citizens, the puerto ricans because they are the armpit of America, the whites.. wait the whites dont complain, the just keep listening and think what a bunch of bitches!

    • Lolnope

      No, the whites complain about whatever they can make up. I’m white and I see it all over the place. Just watch reality television.

  • Lolnope

    I’m offensive and I find this Arabic

  • bill rense

    This time the Arabs are right. If the guy with the camel was not a selectable option to win the race-racist

  • Brian Kerr

    Arab Americans need to be more realistic. I saw the ad and I could say it is sexist, others might say it is against animal rights. The truth is the ad is entertaining. Arab Americans need to go to an Arab country to find out what is racist before they complain.

  • Dana

    people need to calm down