Toshiba’s racist new ads star squinty-eyed Japanese tablets

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Not cool, Toshiba.
Not cool, Toshiba.

We all know that Apple’s advertising is a cut above the competition, but sometimes Cupertino’s competitors stoop so low that all you can do is just shake your head in embarrassment.

That’s certainly the way I feel about Toshiba’s racist new ads. Released in Croatia, they feature a couple of slanted tablets that have been placed to look like squinty eyes, just like the way Asians have been stereotypically portrayed in Western media for centuries. Face palm!

Toshiba's new ad on the countryside. Credit: Señor Agency
Toshiba’s new ad on the countryside. Credit: Señor Agency

To be fair to Toshiba, this is the work of an outside agency called Señor, and only appeared in the Croatian market. And Señor wasn’t trying to be offensive.

Describing their thinking to Ads of the World, Señor said they were trying to evoke Japanese minimalism and Croatians’ love of Japanese electronics:

Toshiba is the only Japanese tablet brand currently present on the Croatian market. Why not remind people of this fact and evoke all the positive emotions Croatians have about top Japanese technology.

But while Señor seems to have meant well, it’s a tone-deaf ad that ignores hundreds of years of racist stereotypes about so-called “squinty eyed Japs.” And given the fact that there are more Asian tourists traveling in Croatia than ever, it’s not an ad that should ever have been approved.

I mean, seriously. Can you imagine Apple ever approving this kind of ad, even in a smaller market like Croatia? Of course not.

Source: Ads Of The World