Are U.S. Company Ads Getting More Racist?
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Have you seen the Mountain Dew ad depicting a bloodied white woman as she is asked to finger her attacker from a lineup of black men? Whether you have or not, would it then surprise you that it was directed by oddball rapper Tyler, The Creator?

Tyler and PepsiCo became the latest ad creators to spark outcry from watchdog groups who say TV and web ads are becoming too racist and are making light of serious societal problems, reports the New York Times.

Advertising experts say the reaction and backlash isn’t shocking because companies are desperate to find new ways of reaching millenials.

“It’s the pressure to create ‘viral’ advertising, the urge to get more views online, that leads people to push the envelope,” Tor Myhren, president and chief creative officer at Grey New York, told the Times.

The pushback is coming from civil rights leaders like Al Sharpton, who this week held a meeting with PepsiCo executives and the family of Emmet Till – the teenager whose 1955 murder in Mississippi sparked the civil rights movement.

You might remember that Mountain Dew last week dropped its multimillion-dollar endorsement deal with Lil Wayne, after the Till family and others took issue with a song that referred to Till with vulgar lyrics sung by the rapper.

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Aaron Morrison

Aaron Morrison is an award-winning New York area-based multimedia journalist with a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Aaron uses video, audio, photography, the web and social networks to tell captivating stories across all media platforms. Over the last year, Aaron has worked as a general assignment reporter for the Daily Record (Gannett) in northern New Jersey. Before that, he spent the spring of 2010 as the temporary legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press' statehouse bureau in Trenton, N.J. In his down time, Aaron enjoys the company of his friends and extended family. He is a fan of culinary arts and dreams of having a home kitchen so tricked out that Julia Child turns over in her grave.