Cultural insensitivity reached new heights when the makers of Absolut vodka, a Swedish company, ran an ad in Mexico which shows the U.S.-Mexico border as it was pre-1848. As we know, Mexico was forced to cede territory north of the current border after refusing to sell it to the U.S. and, subsequently, losing the armed conflict of 1846—1848.
Vin & Spirit, the maker of Absolut, eventually pulled the ad and issued an apology:
"In no way was it meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues," Absolut said in a statement left on its consumer inquiry phone line.
It is hard to imagine how an ad agency could be so tone-deaf, given the delicate nature of cross-border migration not only here but in Europe as well. One wonders if their 'Absolut World' would include reversing Denmark's territorial losses to Sweden with the signing, in 1658, of the Treaty of Roskilde.
I doubt the thought crossed their minds.