Racist Asian Advertisement


Asia wants more foreigners to visit. So what does the ad agency do? They launch this “utterly offensive” campaign to promote it.

At first glance, the shot on the left looks like just another combination of colour and design. But, take a second look and you’re met by the words “See Asia like Asians do”, with an additional tag saying: “To read the text, screw up your eyes.” 

Now, I get where the Ukranian ad agency Tabasco was trying to go with this – they want potential sightseers to become familiar with the continent as a local, not as a tourist. That’s an awesome concept. But, in the same way as my colleague Kele found this cartoon of our new top cop being portrayed as a maid insulting, so too is this imagery.

Tell me, how can you publish a collage of people slanting their eyes and then not expect some to find it derogatory?


The debate got heated, with thousands of angry  – and not so angry – people expressing their feelings on various social networks.

“Racist and stupid… you can read the message even without doing that,” wrote a livid user, Kikin, on adsoftheworld.com. Another blogger called Angry Asian Man quipped: “It’s unbelievable that it never crossed anyone’s mind that this might be kind of, you know, racist.”

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Is this all an overreaction or do you – like me –  see the simmering racist undertones? Share your thoughts below.

  By: Meagan Karstens


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