The Mexican version of the north american map in their installment of the "In an absolut world" campaign, LA Times blogs gossips that the ad has generated strong responses from people north of the border.
“I find this ad deeply offensive, and needlessly divisive. I will now make a point of drinking other brands. And 'vodka and tonic' is my drink,” said one visitor, called New Yorker, on MexicoReporter.com.
Seems the ad generally pissed off people on the northern side of the border, so much so that the Absolut Vodka site now carries an explanation of the ad (and more hating comments): In an ABSOLUT World according to Mexico
The In An Absolut World advertising campaign invites consumers to visualize a world that appeals to them -- one they feel may be more idealized or one that may be a bit "fantastic." As such, the campaign will elicit varying opinions and points of view. We have a variety of executions running in countries worldwide, and each is germane to that country and that population.
This particular ad, which ran in Mexico, was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a Mexican sensibility. In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Mexico may feel was more ideal.
I didn't interpret it any other way, but I guess some people did. You see, the Mexican–American War 1846 - 1848 changed the map of both countries when the peace agreement The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed. The treaty called for the U.S. to pay $15 million to Mexico and to pay off the claims of American citizens against Mexico up to $3.25 million. It gave the United States the Rio Grande as a boundary for Texas, and gave the U.S. ownership of California and a large area comprising roughly half of New Mexico, most of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. Mexicans in those annexed areas had the choice of relocating to within Mexico's new boundaries or receiving American citizenship with full civil rights. Even today there are Mexicans who feel like this was a bad deal and they never really lost the war. A bit like how some Brits feel that former colonies are still "theirs" or how Swedes and Finns still argue about which country the island of Åland really belongs to.
As a global company, we recognize that people in different parts of the world may lend different perspectives or interpret our ads in a different way than was intended in that market. Obviously, this ad was run in Mexico, and not the US -- that ad might have been very different.
By Paula Eriksson, VP Corporate Communications, V&S Absolut Spirits
But the commenters are peeved that this isn't "an apology," though I fail to see why people not subjected to the ad in US media should be apologized to. Yes, god forbid people have different points of view in different countries and that local ad campaigns are adapted to the local markets. Must stop that right now. Sheesh.