Take a look at advertisements from past decades and you’ll find a culture bogged down in explicit sexism and racism. For many years, there was no better barometer of a nation’s tolerance level than the advertisements for food. Has the world moved on, and can we see any examples in today’s integrated societies?

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There are many online examples of vintage adverting that exhibit the racism in [both] food, and other industries across the board. They can be found here, and here

Although today’s media outlets have chief editors that should know better than to include racism in their marketing strategies, you can still see some subtle bigotry and discrimination.

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A mountain dew advert from 2013, was duped “one of the most racist commercials of all time,” with commentators saying that the advert showed racial stereotyping and condoned violence towards women. The advert was created by the black alternative hip-hop producer; Tyler, The Creator – and subsequently pulled from the air.


Once more, a 2010 Australian KFC advert received criticism over more racial stereotyping. The advert illustrates a civilized white man trying to watch a game of cricket. He is being interrupted by loud Caribbean music, and black people dancing and clamouring. He ends the interruption, by saying; “need a tip when you’re stuck in an awkward situation?” with the camera cutting to him giving a bucket of KFC chicken to the crowd in order to shut them up. He concludes by saying the demeaning quip; “too easy”. 

There was public backlash, while others indicated that Australian’s didn’t know about the stereotype that “black people love to eat fried chicken”.

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This ultimately leaves you asking two questions: can the media of a country influence culture? Or is the media just a reflection of the culture?” 

The answers may be relative to whatever media you choose to watch, and whichever part of the world you live in – but you’d wonder what the black panthers would have to say about the above adverts.