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Intel pulls out racially offensive ad

Posted: 03 Aug 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel ad? Core 2 Duo? processor?

Intel Core 2 Duo ad

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Intel's latest Core 2 Duo print ad put the chip giant under fire as several blog comments found the ad racially offensive.

The ad, featuring a standing Caucasian man in casual business attire surrounded by six crouching African-American sprinters in a tableau, was pulled out by the company before publication in North America in all but one entry, a Dell catalog, said an Intel spokesperson.

Intel admitted the ad was "insensitive and insulting." In a statement released Tuesday, the company said that the ad was a mistake.

"Unfortunately, our execution did not deliver our intended message and in fact proved to be insensitive and insulting," read the statement, attributed to Intel VP and director of integrated marketing Nancy Bhagat.

The ad was first posted at gossip site by the blogger "Copyranter" and later re-posted at, a technology blog owned by Commenters at were not in full agreement about any racist intent in the ad, but most criticized Intel for producing an ad that could easily be perceived as racially offensive.

The Intel spokesperson told ChannelWeb that the ad had first run in Europe, where Intel first received complaints about it in June. She said Intel would take steps to avoid such incidents in the future, such as including its existing in-house diversity team in the vetting process for ads. Currently, the diversity team works on different issues, such as hiring.

"Two months ago, we knew of the issue and pulled the ad. We tried to pull all the entries that we had placed, but there was one that made it into the Dell catalog that we didn't manage to pull," the spokesperson said.

The ad agency that produced the ad was McCann Erickson, according to the spokesperson. She would not say whether blame for the ad was being laid at the feet of the ad agency or Intel.

"I won't point fingers. Both Intel and McCann-Erickson were working closely on this," she said.

- Damon Poeter

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