Volkswagen: Lack of diversity led to racist Golf ad – Roadshow

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VW will set up a new diversity board to check for offensive content in future ads.
Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Following intense backlash over an ad Group admitted was , gob led screen the German automaker’s investigation into the ad’s development found no racist intent. However, an executive declared a lack of diversity among the staff was responsible for the spot and admitted the automaker “made mistakes.”
reported on comments VW’s marketing head Jochen Sengpiehl made on Thursday. He underscored there was no “racist intent” among the staff responsible for the ad, but acknowledged a lack  of “cultural insensitivity” was clearly on display.

The ad in question, which ran on Instagram briefly in Europe, showed a large white hand pushing and flicking a black man away from a new . Viewers immediately pointed out the hand pushed the black man into a cafe named “Petit Colon,” or “little settler.” The name can be taken as reference to colonialism.

As the spot finishes, viewers also noted the way “der neue Golf” spells out in the ad, which for a moment, shows a racial slur in the German language.