The blogosphere is on fire over Bacardi's "Get An Ugly Girlfriend" Campaign. Barcardi pulled down the web site promoting the campaign and here is the company response:
"Thank you for taking the time to post your story on Bacardi Breezer.
The campaign you are referring to ran in 2008 for two months in
Israel. Even though Bacardi Breezer is not sold or distributed in the
United States, we immediately notified the appropriate Bacardi
affiliate and had this website shut down.
Bacardi proudly celebrates diversity and we do not endorse the views
of this site. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by this
site and thank you for bringing it to our attention."
- Sean-Patrick Hillman of bacardi.com, June 21, 2009 via Sweet Machine.
Ok Mr. Sean nice blanket response, a few questions for you;
1) You are the Bacardi publicist. Where is the Corporate Big Dog that should be responding to this?
2) Your twitter response to this "crisis" was unnecessary….as a publicist we would think you would know to shut your yapper.
3) McCann Digital Israel obviously didn't get any slap on the hand about the Ugly Girlfriend campaign seeing that they submitted it to The Cannes Lions Festival (THE annual event for top advertising creative), even twittering about it on Saturday June 12 to gloat about the catalog.
4) AXE is also a client of McCann Digital Israel, in fact they just won a Bronze in the Platinum category at Cannes for their work, didn't that give Bacardi a clue they were a real class act?
5) I see Bacardi's female CMO Stella David just got canned after 15 years with the company…I wonder what she thought of this campaign?
Start digging man, this could get uglier.
UPDATE 6/22 4pmCST: Sean Hillmann pulled down the tweet shown above. I wonder why? Maybe because Rachel at FWordblog and I stalked him
I've asked McCann Israel for more info on their award submission for The Ugly Girlfriend Campaign, let's see what they come back with.