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ADC partners with Coke to promote diversity

ADC Partners with Coke to Promote Diversity - Thanks Company for Super Bowl Ad

Washington, DC | | February 3, 2014 – In case you missed it, last night the Coca-Cola Company aired an ad during the Super Bowl which celebrated America’s diversity. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) commends Coke for airing the ad, and is glad to have been part of the process of getting the ad to fruition. Over the course of the past year ADC has partnered with Coke to promote diversity. The partnership developed out of concerns ADC shared with Coke in regards to its 2013 Super Bowl Ads.

This year’s ad campaign demonstrates Coke’s strong commitment to advancing diversity and mutual understanding. The “America Is Beautiful” Super Bowl ad campaign portrays our country’s diverse colors, languages, faiths, lifestyles, and cultures. In one of the ads an Arab-American named Naya sings "America the Beautiful in Arabic."

Today in a letter to Mr. Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO, ADC president Samer Khalaf stated, "Thank you for demonstrating your strong commitment to advancing diversity, mutual understanding, and inclusiveness. Not only have you refrained from using stereotypes in this year’s Super Bowl ad, but you have taken strong proactive action to promote diversity and mutual understanding. This ad celebrates the diversity that makes American truly beautiful.”

Since its inception, ADC has dedicated itself to fighting stereotypes. Last year, ADC expressed concern with Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl advertisement, which depicted Arabs in stereotypical fashion. ADC explained that use of stereotypical imagery and portrayals of any group serve to perpetuate these negative stereotypes, and must not be tolerated. After a dialogue with ADC, and Dr. Jack Sheen, an expert on stereotypical depictions of Arabs in American media, Coke agreed to work with ADC to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future, and to be committed to advancing diversity and understanding. Part of this commitment by Coke was an agreement to produce an ad which captures the diversity of America, rather than one which stereotypes different ethnic and racial groups – such as was the case in 2013.

Dr. Jack Shaheen said of this year’s ad, “Coke did a terrific job of capturing America's diversity; the ad and the back stories beautifully reveal our country's diverse colors, faiths and creeds.”

Sadly the ad has had some negative reaction, as bigoted responses show us that there is still a long way to go in combatting hate and xenophobia in this country. It is our duty to work together and help promote diversity and understanding.


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