Volkswagen is going ahead with Super Bowl ad that is criticised as racist
Volkswagen is going ahead with a Super Bowl ad that some critics are calling racist because it depicts a cheerful white office worker speaking in a Jamaican accent.
Titled "Get In, Get Happy", the 60-second spot has been seen more than 614,000 times on Volkswagen's YouTube site.
"No worries, mon, every-ding will be all right," Dave, the commercial's Beetle-driving lead character tells his grumpy workmates. "Turn da frown dee other way around."
"I was shocked... This is so racist," said Barbara Lippert of Mediapost.com.
Mark Gillies, a communications manager at Volkswagen of America, said the ad - with a soundtrack from reggae giant Jimmy Cliff - had been tested before "a diverse audience" that included Jamaicans. "The message of the ad, which some people seem to have lost, is that you drive something like a Beetle, and it brightens your day up," he said.