11 Points

11 Unbelievably Insensitive (and Often Racist) Holiday Advertisements
written by Sam Greenspan

This list was entirely inspired by this photo of a Wal-Mart Mother's Day special (as pictured below, as #1). Sometimes, companies just make gigantic mistakes in their attempts to weave sales and holidays. And even better, quite often, those mistakes are hilariously politically incorrect.

Here are 11 fantastic holiday ads that are, in general, racially, religiously and culturally insensitive... not to mention delivering face palms to common sense.
  1. Wal-Mart Mother's Day. The perfect gift for mom, to ensure that you don't have to share her love with any future, cuter siblings.

    I love that it's not just condoms but one of the choices is the Magnum line. It's one thing to buy your mom condoms... it's another thing to speculate on the massiveness of the genitalia of her fornication partner(s).


  2. Black History Month Specials (Part One). There are plenty of Black History Month ads on this list, and this is the first one. Leading off with frying chicken and collard greens... well, that seems to cross the delicate line between celebrating Black History Month and trying to cash in on black stereotypes.


  3. Christmas hemorrhoid suppositories. Nothing says "celebrate the birth of Jesus" like a sale on rectally-inserted hemorrhoid relief -- generic brand.


  4. Santa loves cigarettes. Wait, I take that back. Nothing says "celebrate the birth of Jesus" like Santa disturbingly bound and gagged... yet smiling... and smoking.


  5. Black History Month Specials (Part Two). Something about celebrating cheap cotton in the context of black history is just wrong. (You know, what with cotton being the crop that kept the slave trade alive when tobacco struggled and accounting for almost two million slaves -- or more than half -- leading up to the Civil War.)


  6. Hanukkah ham. I love this one. This was an actual in-store special from a grocery chain in New York a few years back. Nothing says Hanukkah like ham, right?


  7. Easter prices. This is a good spot to mention that while none of these things offend ME (I love the awkwardness of a harsh, insensitive joke, especially in front of adults)... I could see them offending someone. Like the people who write letters to the FCC about GoDaddy.com commercials or Joan Rivers showing too much leg.


  8. Closed for MLK Day. I absolutely adore this ad. I mean... it's SO clear which of these is the REAL reason they closed for Monday, January 19th.


  9. Black History Month Specials (Part Three). Acme also chose to run some food specials for Black History Month and, just like Rainbow, made some interesting choices. I'd like to give specific shout-outs to the top row (Obama DVD, Obama plaque and cornbread) along with the third row (greens and hot sauce), and, of course, the fourth row (grape soda).


  10. The Yankees. Just to remind you that you can be insensitive by accidentally soaring over the top with political correctness. To celebrate the '99 baseball season, check out the color of the DiMaggio "5" and the Hunter armband they're wearing. Amazing.


  11. True romance for Valentine's Day. This ad does have a point -- sometimes, what you can't say with flowers and jewelry you CAN say with a coffin and sit-down meeting with a mortician.



This post was originally published on Monday, May 11, 2009 at 12:01:00 AM under the category Misc.

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