I see that Absolut has apologized for its recent Mexican ad depicting an enormous chunk of the United States as being part of Mexico. Apparently, there is some nostalgia in Mexico for some long past “good old days” when the western U.S. was part of our neighbor to the south, and Absolut was playing to this nostalgia by hoisting the above map up on billboards across the country.
As could be expected by everybody, save for the uniquely clueless execs at Absolut, a great cry of protest was heard from those who saw the ad as an insult to the U.S. Of course, they’re correct, if perhaps a bit overly vociferous in their outrage. And what does this say about Mexico? Whatever latent fantasy exists there for a return to the above drawn borders, the fact is that the land is U.S. territory and by virtually any measure we’ve done far more with it than anything our neighbors might have contemplated. As someone put it, the only real difference would be they'd be trying to sneak into Oklahoma.
What I love about this controversy though, is how even in the supposed triumph of this ad, Mexico still loses and seems to not have even noticed! Because, while the map represents their view of a better world, the message itself is written in English.