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Intel in trouble for 'racist' ad

Intel in trouble for 'racist' ad

"Effing brilliant...can we get some Native Americans in there, too? Huddle them in the corner over there..."

They always say "There's no such thing as bad publicity." That may or may not be true, as someone in Intel's marketing division might have to find a new job after the latest ad. It appears that a white man smiling smugly over a bunch of bent over black athletes might just be considered racist.

Wow...Whudda thunk?

The ad, which (hopefully) was just a really, really dumb idea, illustrates a white businessman "multiplying" his productivity. This is illustrated, of course, by the appearance of several black athletes (wearing next to naught), each bowing down in front of him. The smiling satisfaction on his face is just icing on the cake...

Whoever thought of this will hopefully be packing his or her bags soon, but here at bit-tech we're a bit more curious as to how something like this manages to get out and in print without catching the implication. I mean, surely this did get seen by someone, no?

What are your thoughts on the ad - poor taste, or just a dumb choice by some very naive person? Tell us your thoughts in our forums and join the discussion.

47 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
poenanie 2nd August 2007, 09:19 Quote
Ach just unlucky , I guess this guy was trying to redirect to the old times when black people were slaves or something , clearly a bad decision with all of the whiners in our world today .. i'm still buying their Quad core you know , black or not :>
Morphine-Kitty 2nd August 2007, 09:22 Quote
I'm sure they didn't mean harm, but they have to be some pretty unobservant people to let this past...
The_Pope 2nd August 2007, 09:27 Quote
It's bad BUT I think I can see what they're going for. The slogan is "multiply the power of your employees" so that's why is the same sprinter cloned a few more times. Plus, no disrespect to any white athletes out there, but it just wouldn't work with white sprinters. From Carl Lewis and Linford Christie to today's champions, nothing conveys a sense of power and speed like a muscley black guy with a shaved head. Am I wrong?

It's a lose-lose-lose situation for the designers IMO:

1) White Manager with black sprinters = Lose
2) White Manager with all white sprinters = Lose
3) Black Manager with all white sprinters = Lose

Best to steer clear of it altogether
Cptn-Inafinus 2nd August 2007, 09:27 Quote
That, too put it as blatently as possible is just retarted... I mean seriously. In todays world of law suits and general im-gonna-sue-you-because-you-looked-funny-at-me times, you think it would have crossed their mind that it does have some underlying tones.

Altough the thing with racism can get a bit ridcule. BHS had a attempted law suit because one of their adverts for childrens clothing did not include anyone of a ethcnic mionority. For all we know they could have asked a nice lttle rural school with a nice class if they could do a photo shoot, and it so happened that there was no one coloured or similair in there. I have no one of an ethnic minority in my high school (we are quite rural...) except for my french teacher, who is an asusome guy!

Sorry these kind of things really piss me off...
mmorgue 2nd August 2007, 09:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by poenanie
Ach just unlucky , I guess this guy was trying to redirect to the old times when black people were slaves or something , clearly a bad decision with all of the whiners in our world today .. i'm still buying their Quad core you know , black or not :>

Ditto. I Couldnt care less about adverts, etc -- if the product performs, I'll take it. Besides, people are far too politically correct these days.
revlob 2nd August 2007, 09:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Pope
It's bad BUT I think I can see what they're going for. The slogan is "multiply the power of your employees" so that's why is the same sprinter cloned a few more times. Plus, no disrespect to any white athletes out there, but it just wouldn't work with white sprinters. From Carl Lewis and Linford Christie to today's champions, nothing conveys a sense of power and speed like a muscley black guy with a shaved head. Am I wrong?

It's a lose-lose-lose situation for the designers IMO:

1) White Manager with black sprinters = Lose
2) White Manager with all white sprinters = Lose
3) Black Manager with all white sprinters = Lose

Best to steer clear of it altogether
What about the one combination you missed? I bet people wouldn't have thought twice about a black manager with black sprinters.
Jamie 2nd August 2007, 09:37 Quote
If it was reversed with a black man smiling with white athletes I wouldn't be offended. I don't consider this racist at all, a small (or large) minority like making a mountain out of a mole hill in the name of racism. If the ad was showing the white guy buying more black men on the slave market then it's a different story.
Oclocker 2nd August 2007, 09:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by poenanie
Ach just unlucky , I guess this guy was trying to redirect to the old times when black people were slaves or something , clearly a bad decision with all of the whiners in our world today .. i'm still buying their Quad core you know , black or not :>

sorry but its just not so - all its infering is the best runners are often black gents. in a way its racist against non-blacks!!

ie. its a load of pc garbage - maybe we should stop the way races are started - rather than have atheletes bow to starter - we'll have them standing proud & the starting person drops a white flag????
The_Pope 2nd August 2007, 09:55 Quote
Actually, I'd have to kinda agree. "Racism" is really about some sort of discrimination based on someone's colour or creed. Sure, the ad might spark some anger from any African Americans (or others) sensitive about the slavery issue, but this ad isn't really the same as the whole get-to-the-back-of-the-bus thing
Da_Rude_Baboon 2nd August 2007, 10:04 Quote
Some one care to explain how that advert is racist?

There is a white guy standing beside some cloned black athletes who are bending over because they are in the starting position of a race. So now any white guy who stands next to a black athlete is racist? C'mon saying thats a racist advert is just plain ridiculous and is a far greater indicator of what a idiotic state society has got itself into.

All these 'race' campaigners are missing the point. It should not matter would colour or race the people in the advert are as we are all equal.

[edit] Slavery? Is the white guy holding a whip and forcing the black guy to bend over? [/edit]
will. 2nd August 2007, 10:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
If it was reversed with a black man smiling with white athletes I wouldn't be offended. I don't consider this racist at all, a small (or large) minority like making a mountain out of a mole hill in the name of racism. If the ad was showing the white guy buying more black men on the slave market then it's a different story.

Yea, but everyone knows that white guys can't run...

For that matter, where are the women!!! G'Dam! It's sexist too!
Havok154 2nd August 2007, 10:15 Quote
I think I just realized how to make this work. Have the sprinter guy also be the IT guy. So it's like he cloned himself to do more work, faster. Eh, might still come off a little "off".
Mother-Goose 2nd August 2007, 10:19 Quote
Oh for the love of god, it's not racist! Next they'll being saying diet coke cans are racists because they are silver and keep black stuff inside under pressure. Grrrrrrrrrr
Morphine-Kitty 2nd August 2007, 10:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mother-Gooser
Next they'll being saying diet coke cans are racists because they are silver and keep black stuff inside under pressure.

Laughing my a** off over that one!
perplekks45 2nd August 2007, 10:32 Quote
Hell yea that's racist! The white manager is an effin racist! He didn't hire any white men, asians or whatever! It's a black-only office leaving all other races standing in the rain. :|

[/sarcasm]
If that's really to be considered racist then I'll have to admit it's poor times we live in.
And as mentioned before black athletes just look better than white ones (except for some of the girls ) so it's just common sense to put some black dudes there.
HitmanAdski 2nd August 2007, 10:54 Quote
To be honest, I think everyone just looks at it and laughs about the whole thing... I mean really if they wanted to make it racist they would but the white manager at the top end at a desk in a big boss chair and glare down the room.

I think it's just an honest mistake, that's not to say it should stay there, I think they need to pull the ad off and think of something like a Funky Frog saying "why don't we Leap ahead?" and then the frog is duplicated and put into super sonic. If they want attention (and that's what ads want) then do something crazy, cool and funny!

(LOL at my post, and my crazy imagination :) )
cjmUK 2nd August 2007, 12:12 Quote
I think people need to understand the difference between the meaning of the English word racist and the politico-legal meaning of the word.

In English, it means to discriminate against a person of a different ethnic origin. To treat them differently (i.e. negatively) because they are of a different race.

In the modern legal sense, someone is racist if they do or say something that is interpreted as racist by a 3rd party. You don't need to intend to be racist to be construed as racist. There is supposed to be the 'reasonable' test applied - is it reasonable for the 3rd party to feel offended by said actions or words, but inevitably this test is rarely applied.

The modern PC movement in the UK takes this even further - a white person will generally find it difficult to claim racism in similar circumstances to those of ethnic origins. In addition, positive discrimination is not regarded as racist (even though it is based on discrimination against a particular ethic group) but is generally viewed as a form of anti-racism.

In the context of this ad, it's clearly not intended to be racist, and if anything, merely having to consider the races of the spinter(s) and the manager could be considered a racist requirement. The advertisers should be blind to the races of all protagonists.

However, legally it could be deemed racist if someone was offended by this and this was accepted as being a reasonable reaction - which is a distinct possibility. And therefore, as perverse as it may seem, it is usual that companies would go to great lengths to avoid the possibility of such an interpretation - which makes it all the more unusual that this ad actually made it so far.

As an aside: I'm sure some of you guys (in the UK) will have come across Balamory (children's TV program). There is an extraordinarily high proportion of children from different races and ethic origins appearing in the nursery in the program. While the program is set on a small Scottish island, rather than reflect the current ethnic composition of a typical island, they have over-compensated in order to prove their multi-cultural credentials. On the other hand, perhaps coincidentally there just happen to be a larger number of children from ethnic origins who want to appear in the program.

Final comment on the ad - never mind racist; it's a crap advert - not sure even that the intended message is any good anyway. They guy(s) behind it haven't exactly showered themselves in glory with this one...
mikeuk2004 2nd August 2007, 12:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Rude_Baboon
Some one care to explain how that advert is racist?

There is a white guy standing beside some cloned black athletes who are bending over because they are in the starting position of a race. So now any white guy who stands next to a black athlete is racist? C'mon saying thats a racist advert is just plain ridiculous and is a far greater indicator of what a idiotic state society has got itself into.

All these 'race' campaigners are missing the point. It should not matter would colour or race the people in the advert are as we are all equal.

[edit] Slavery? Is the white guy holding a whip and forcing the black guy to bend over? [/edit]

Thats what I thought.

If people think its a racist ad then I'll have to remember that next time im at a field and games event. When I see white starter standing near the black athletes who have bent down in there starting position. Ill have to run over to the starter and warn him hes being racist and the athletes should start the race standing and result in getting a slow get away when it starts.
mikeuk2004 2nd August 2007, 12:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Rude_Baboon


[edit] Slavery? Is the white guy holding a whip and forcing the black guy to bend over? [/edit]

Now your just being kinky :)
Da_Rude_Baboon 2nd August 2007, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmUK
I think people need to understand the difference between the meaning of the English word racist and the politico-legal meaning of the word.

Thats was a good explanation, thanks. :)

I still stand by my point that its more a reflection of this stupid overly PC nonsense we have gotten ourselves into. If racism is to be truly beaten then it shouldn't matter who is in the advert.
ClearCaseMan 2nd August 2007, 13:07 Quote
exactly, why does it have to be white guy/black guy? the race card needs to be burnt/buried or something, this is a old story (not the intel thing) get over the racist things and get back to life. Life is way to short to ponder on every add that comes out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Pope
It's bad BUT I think I can see what they're going for. The slogan is "multiply the power of your employees" so that's why is the same sprinter cloned a few more times. Plus, no disrespect to any white athletes out there, but it just wouldn't work with white sprinters. From Carl Lewis and Linford Christie to today's champions, nothing conveys a sense of power and speed like a muscley black guy with a shaved head. Am I wrong?

It's a lose-lose-lose situation for the designers IMO:

1) White Manager with black sprinters = Lose
2) White Manager with all white sprinters = Lose
3) Black Manager with all white sprinters = Lose

Best to steer clear of it altogether
NiHiLiST 2nd August 2007, 13:10 Quote
If anyone's offended by that they need a ***ing punch in the face. Seriously, get a grip people!
Mister_Tad 2nd August 2007, 14:21 Quote
It seems to me like whoever was behind the ad never considered the race issue at all - ie, "hang on, this guy is white and those guys are black" which imo is completely anti-racist (of course its a word)

Would be so nice to get to a point when people don't even notice, say, if there's an ad without any ethnic minorities (only ~8% of the UK population after all), but these days an ad with 3 people in it seems to require at least one, or if there is an ad with entirely ethnic minorities (maybe only a dozen black people showed up for the job?)

proper racism is of course a bad thing, but I just wish that this hyper-pc bull**** would stop
Why is the ad have to be "a white man standing over black men", why not "a manager standing over sprinters"?

pah I say!

I wonder if any regular black people are even genuinely offended by this kind of thing, or just highly strung hyper PC advocates with nothing better to do with their time (be black or white or whatever else)
C-Sniper 2nd August 2007, 14:32 Quote
it seems to me more like a bunch of Political BS. Too much damn bureaucracy nowadays. and in response to Mister Tad... There is almost always 1 person (white,Black,Asian,purple,etc) that will get pissed off by some picture they feel is Racist.
Mister_Tad 2nd August 2007, 14:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Sniper
in response to Mister Tad... There is almost always 1 person (white,Black,Asian,purple,etc) that will get pissed off by some picture they feel is Racist.

Yes, of course there is, but theyre the highly strung hyper PC advocates with nothing better to do with their time that I was talking about. Or maybe just ultra-sensitive. Either way, the rest of the world shouldn't have to tip-toe around anything that "might" be found offensive by "someone" "somewhere" "maybe", for fear of pissing one or two people off.
craigey1 2nd August 2007, 14:44 Quote
[sarcasm]
Being ever the equalist. I don't just see this advert as racist, but as I don't see any black, white or asian women. I'm going to complain to Intel that the advert is also extremely sexist. After all, this is a modern world where women are to be treated equally as men.

[/end sarcasm]

[edit]
Crap, just saw Will's comment along the same line.
[/edit]
ClearCaseMan 2nd August 2007, 14:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
Yes, of course there is, but theyre the highly strung hyper PC advocates with nothing better to do with their time that I was talking about. Or maybe just ultra-sensitive. Either way, the rest of the world shouldn't have to tip-toe around anything that "might" be found offensive by "someone" "somewhere" "maybe", for fear of pissing one or two people off.

right, the fact of the matter is the "Black man" dominates many of the sports we play today, so having the sprinters black is not racist it is factual. if there had been a white guy and white sprinters you can bet the NAACP would have said what is wrong isnt the "Black Man "good enough to be a sprinter. as posted above this was a lose/lose thing from the get go. just because of the people out there with nothing better to do than play the "race card" and keep the lives of us stirred(man I hope I spelled that correct)
Mother-Goose 2nd August 2007, 15:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morphine-Kitty
Laughing my a** off over that one!

Thanks ;) I was quite proud of that one actually! I may have to use it when an argument like this comes up again!
zero0ne 2nd August 2007, 15:15 Quote
I feel the same way about womens rights...

If minorty groups want to be treated equally, they should NOT be complaining about this ad...

instead they should be saying, well it makes sense, considering the fastest sprinters are all black, making white, FAST, WINNING, sprinters in the minority...

If groups want to be treated equally, one of the first steps will always be to not bring attention to it yourself. I mean lead by example has always been my motto.

I can relate this to women being all for womens rights, but when it comes to custody battles, or abuse cases, the courts still don't care how or what the evidence proves, its always true (IE coked out women getting full custody over their children vs their dad who actually has a job; or a domestic disturbance call where no physical violence was done, but the police officers immediately come in and start beating down on the male, or better yet, the woman just lies and says she was hit...)

the fact that people still get bothered by things like this (aka sue happy) just shows that we have a long long long way to go before "skin color" or "sex" is a moot point in society and people are judged solely on their actions etc
MilkMan5 2nd August 2007, 15:39 Quote
Maybe Intel should just stick to their Blue Men Ad’s.
That way there would be no problem.

Besides, do you think that the actors think it was racist!

Its actually sad that people really think the Ad to be racist, then perhaps they the problem.
Da_Rude_Baboon 2nd August 2007, 15:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilkMan5
Maybe Intel should just stick to their Blue Men Ad’s.

I think they got banned because the grinch felt oppressed by the lack of green people.
MilkMan5 2nd August 2007, 16:05 Quote
I was looking at the ad again and all the athletes seem to be the same person (copy).

So in fact you only have two people, one is a manager and one is an athlete, which just so happens to be both professionals.
Sports now a days pay a lot more than most office managers will dream of getting.

So as you can see, it’s all crap (can I use this word!)
Lowsidex2 2nd August 2007, 17:03 Quote
I don't see any articles or columns written in ebonics at bit-tech so you guys must be racist. Most people will glance at that ad and move on. It's only those that are racists themselves that take the time to nit pick every little detail in the world in order to reaffirm there own delusions. It'll take a couple more generations but eventually we'll weed out all the bigots(on all sides of the color spectrums) and them maybe the world can live without fear of upsetting 3 people out of a million.
EmJay 2nd August 2007, 17:23 Quote
Meh. As long as Intel apologizes and reprimands or fires the guy responsible, it'll still turn into good publicity for them. Rather silly game, isn't it? If we're really going to stop being racist, let's stop being hyper-sensitive about it.
Oclocker 2nd August 2007, 17:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmJay
Meh. As long as Intel apologizes and reprimands or fires the guy responsible, it'll still turn into good publicity for them. Rather silly game, isn't it? If we're really going to stop being racist, let's stop being hyper-sensitive about it.

I do hope your kidding re any reprimands/firing - absolutely no reason for any action as ads not racist . rubbish but not racist..
Mod_God 2nd August 2007, 17:54 Quote
This stuff pisses me off the most, im not at all racist but theres gotta be somewhere to draw the line. I'm sure the people behind this ad meant it to be 6 athletes representing a more productive office, not a white guy making 6 black guys bow down in front of him. who ever thinks this ad is racist is a very ignorant person, its 2007 for christ sake shouldn't we be looking at the person and not the skin by now, I mean come on people its an ad, I guess people don't have anything better to do than further stereotype their people by taking things such as ads and totally turning them into something different, its a god damn processor ad not a slave ad or some shit grow up people...
greensabbath 2nd August 2007, 18:58 Quote
Well this ad didn't work for me. As we all know, I can't see race so I have to take everyone's word that the manager is white and the ripped sprinter guys are indeed black. (if anyone got that then you kick ass)

Anyway, if anything, this ad just makes fun of a stereotype (funny, its actually true) that most of the best sprinters tend to be black (i do know f a few good white ones too). I think it might have been better to take the manager guy and copy him but in a more ripped and athletic way... Although that might be considered as a message to clone superiour white people in which case we;re screwed again. :(
Bungle 2nd August 2007, 19:15 Quote
I gave up with political correctness when they banned the Golly Wog from the Robinsons Jam jars. If the guy had been wearing a Klu Klux Klan outfit, then the arguement might have held As it stands it's just another over reaction by someone trying to make something out of nothing. A Large portion of Business men maybe ethically white, the best sprinters in the world maybe ethically black, hence the advert. Poor taste maybe the only thing the advert is guilty of but certainly not racism.
The_Beast 2nd August 2007, 20:21 Quote
It's easyer to pay one guy and photoshop him into 6 guys than pay for 6 guys for the same thing
EmJay 2nd August 2007, 21:05 Quote
Quote:
I do hope your kidding re any reprimands/firing - absolutely no reason for any action as ads not racist . rubbish but not racist..

You and I are in agreement there. The ad is a bad idea, perhaps, but nothing worse than that. However, Intel can appease the people screaming 'racisim' and come out as the hero of the whole affair if they do punish the employee in question - turning bad PR into good faster than those sprinters can reach the other side of the office. It's been done before, and I suspect deliberately. Someone releases an offensive-but-funny viral ad that gains ten times the exposure it would have otherwise, the company vehemently renounces it (but still gets their name in the news), and everyone goes home happy. Sort of.
Khensu 2nd August 2007, 22:35 Quote
So... am I the only one who just saw a bunch of guys on a poster, as opposed to some darkbrownish-skinned men bending over and one kind-of-beige dude standing in the middle?

So... we're all equal and we shouldn't see any difference, but the people who say that are the same that scream "ZOMG RACISM" at stuff like this?

So... do I go out and about to find me some non-European looking people and apologise for the disgusting sorrow my fellow white oppressor caused with this ad?

Or would I be better off just sitting here and thinking that people who see "racism" and "differences" everywhere, whilst continuously whining that we're all the same (most people have gotten that message by now, I reckon. Time to shut up?), should go hang themselves. With a fair-trade rope, preferably.

God I hate people. All of em. Equally. I promise.
Oclocker 2nd August 2007, 23:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmJay
You and I are in agreement there. The ad is a bad idea, perhaps, but nothing worse than that. However, Intel can appease the people screaming 'racisim' and come out as the hero of the whole affair if they do punish the employee in question - turning bad PR into good faster than those sprinters can reach the other side of the office. It's been done before, and I suspect deliberately. Someone releases an offensive-but-funny viral ad that gains ten times the exposure it would have otherwise, the company vehemently renounces it (but still gets their name in the news), and everyone goes home happy. Sort of.

aCTUALLY ITS JUST A CRAP AD RATHER THAN A ""bad idea"" i seriously doubt any viral marketing was intended/planned tbh.
wafflesomd 2nd August 2007, 23:51 Quote
It's no worse than anything on TV.
Miser 3rd August 2007, 05:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greensabbath
Well this ad didn't work for me. As we all know, I can't see race so I have to take everyone's word that the manager is white and the ripped sprinter guys are indeed black. (if anyone got that then you kick ass)

Anyway, if anything, this ad just makes fun of a stereotype (funny, its actually true) that most of the best sprinters tend to be black (i do know f a few good white ones too). I think it might have been better to take the manager guy and copy him but in a more ripped and athletic way... Although that might be considered as a message to clone superiour white people in which case we;re screwed again. :(

Colbert

OT: The ad sucks, but it is not something to get offended about. Move on sensitive people...
led_zeppelinzoso 3rd August 2007, 06:27 Quote
First off, if we were in a truly politically correct, not tolerant, society, no one would have noticed this. Anyone who sees this as racist is just tolerant to racism. In the ideal world that we believe we live in, we are not allowed to show hate to anyone or anything… even though most of the white population would rather see a white guy in that ally at 3 am, if you know what I mean. That is still racism.

Ok, I’m white, and I admit that when I saw this I felt a little weird… kind of like, “am I allowed to think that’s bad?” “Am I racist for thinking that’s ok?”

Maybe they were highlighting a positive black stereotype, like… That black people are fast, and he’s upgrading from his old white athletes… lol?
Nexxo 3rd August 2007, 14:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowsidex2
I don't see any articles or columns written in ebonics at bit-tech so you guys must be racist. Most people will glance at that ad and move on. It's only those that are racists themselves that take the time to nit pick every little detail in the world in order to reaffirm there own delusions. It'll take a couple more generations but eventually we'll weed out all the bigots(on all sides of the color spectrums) and them maybe the world can live without fear of upsetting 3 people out of a million.
Way I see it, homey don' ask for jive, homey don' get no jive. Yo bunch a' crackers don' scan it anyhows. :p

Sometimes racism is in the eye of the beholder. Speaking as a person of colour (As Richard Prior would put it) I know plenty of people who have a chip on their shoulder about being black. Generally they make pretty good racists themselves. But that sort of figures; after all members of the white racist brotherhood have quite obvious issues with their own self-esteem too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by led_zeppelinzoso
Ok, I’m white, and I admit that when I saw this I felt a little weird… kind of like, “am I allowed to think that’s bad?” “Am I racist for thinking that’s ok?”
Don't worry about it. I don't. You can only be yourself and invite people to take you as such.

Beyond that, it's all dumb tribal dynamics. Speaking for myself, homey don't play that. :D
completemadness 3rd August 2007, 14:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khensu
So... am I the only one who just saw a bunch of guys on a poster, as opposed to some darkbrownish-skinned men bending over and one kind-of-beige dude standing in the middle?
pretty much

sad times we live in, in fact stunts like this just end up confounding the problem
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