Coca-Cola Super Bowl multilingual ad stokes controversy

Feb 04, 2014, 18:35 IST | Agencies

Coca-Cola has found itself in the midst of a controversy over its NFL Super Bowl advertisement featuring homosexuals and multinationals singing "America the Beautiful" in seven different languages including Hindi.

Washington: A new Coca-Cola commercial depicting US' diversity by showing people of different immigrant communities singing "America the Beautiful" in seven different languages, including Hindi, has sparked a major row.

The one-minute Super Bowl advertisement called "It's beautiful" in which the patriotic standard is sung in seven different languages was meant to showcase the country's "incredible diversity," the soft drink company said.

The classic song plays throughout the advertisement in English, Spanish, Hindi, Keres, Tagalog, Senegalese French and Hebrew.

A Lebanese woman has a drink in front of a Coca-Cola vending machine in Beirut. File Pic/AFP 

"The commercial spot dredged up multiple hot-button issues for right wingers the ongoing debate over the codificati
on of English as the primary language in the US, immigration reform and the acceptance of same-sex relationships in mainstream media," the New York Daily News said.

Allen West, a former Republican House member, wrote in a blog post, "The last thing any of us should want to see is a balkanised America."

"Furthermore, it has to be of concern that we have Americans who lack the resolve to take a stand for our borders, language, and culture," he said.

West, a Republican from Florida, was not petitioning for a boycott of Coca-Cola products, but argued the song should have been sung in English and showed US military members of diverse races.

"If you truly want to show a diverse commitment to service, sacrifice, and honour that enables us to live in 'America the Beautiful' that would have been rated the best commercial advertisement of the Super Bowl."

However, the advertisement had also found its supporters among conservatives with the Heritage Foundation, a high-profile conservative think-tank, tweeting its support for the advertisement.

"Did anyone else like the @CocaCola commercial as much as we did? What a beautiful nation we have!" the heritage foundation tweeted.

"Coca-Cola's Super Bowl commercial was at first glance a moving tribute to America's diversity, featuring a full minute of ordinary people of different races and ethnicity doing ordinary American activities, as the classic song 'America the Beautiful' plays throughout the advertisement," CNN said.

Meanwhile, the company has stated that it does not plan on either making any changes or dropping the advertisement, reported.

The soft-drink giant added that it will air a 90-second version of the advert, at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia, which has been in news for its new anti-gay laws.

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