The Dog meme inspired ad campaign in Stockholm which touted the virtues of getting a monthly pass with the Shibu dogs familiar bad grammar "wow, such cheap" was reported to the Swedish Reklamombudsman (RO) for being racist.
A Japanese man living in Stockholm, who filed the complaint, stated that the campaign gave a stereotypical view of Japanese people, it was offensive and racist.
SL said in a statement that they regret that the advertisement has been perceived as offensive & racist, and that the campaign is based on an Internet phenomenon "Doge". SL further alaborate that Doge is an internet-meme with over 4.3 billions hits on google, and that the dogs terrible grammar isn't connected with a Japanese persons speech patterns
The Reklamombudsman (RO) who looked at the complaint further concluded that most people don't even know that a Shibu is a Japanese dog breed. "The average consumer is probably not aware of the dog's origin nor are they connecting the image and text with Japan and the Japanese people."
The advertising campaign is therefore not discriminatory in terms of nationality, according to RO. It's just offensive to creatives who don't regurgitate everything they've seen on the web as an "idea".
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