Why a Coca-Cola Holiday Ad in Mexico is Under Fire
A Christmas ad for Coca-Cola (KO) in Mexico is gaining traction online for its controversial message about the country’s indigenous people.
The ad depicts the town of Totontepec Villa de Morelos in Oaxaca, Mexico. Coca-Cola trucks enter bearing gifts of soda for the inhabitants.
By nighttime, Coca-Cola builds a large Christmas tree with lights that resemble bottle caps. Townspeople have gathered around the tree to enjoy their bottles of the soda.
“This Christmas a group of young people decided to give something very special to the indigenous community of Totontepec [Villa] de Morelos in Oaxaca,” according to an Associated Press translation. “You, too, open your heart.”
But some are calling the ad a poor depiction of the region. “It’s outrageous for the indigenous,” Diana Turner, a spokesman for Consumer Power, said in an interview with the Associated Press.
“Coca-Cola is working on some genius colonial branding in Mexico with its out-of-touch, racist #AbreTuCorazon campaign,” wrote one commenter on the ad, according to the publication.
“We appreciated you sharing your concerns,” Coca-Cola wrote back. “We will be sure to pass along your comments.”
Fortune has reached out to Coca-Cola for comment.
Check out the full ad below:
The ad comes around the same time that an anti-obesity group Coca-Cola funded disbanded.