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Sony launches product with offensive white supremacy advert

By The Ligali Organisation, posted Fri 7 July 2006

Sony - "White is Coming"

The launch of Sony’s White PSP console was mired in controversy as Dutch billboards for its ‘white is coming’ campaign was recognised as invoking racist ideology.

The ‘white’ campaign has drawn wide criticism from across the media and gaming industry for its overt racist connotations. Many commentators have highlighted the Japanese electronic firm’s exploitative attempt to raise its profile by courting controversy using a similar manner to that of clothing group Benetton which deliberately used provocative imagery to encourage racist thought.

Sony denies accusations of racism and claims that the "images created for the campaign have been designed to show this contrast in colours of the PSPs , and have no other message or purpose. All of the 100 or so images created for the campaign have been designed to show this contrast in colours of the PSPs , and have no other message or purpose."

Sony: Anti-African, white supremacy advert

Online advert is withdrawn

However recognising the offensive anti-African tone of the campaign , Sony UK has announced that the campaign which is currently released only in Holland will not be used in Britain. A representative for the firm said "I would like to confirm that we categorically are not running this advert creative in the UK".

The offensive advert was quickly removed from Sony’s Dutch website following worldwide media exposure.
The ‘white’ campaign has drawn wide criticism from across the media and gaming industry for its overt racist connotations.


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It is nothing but ignorant to claim that the marketing company behind this advert had no idea about the offensiveness of an aggressive media campaign asserting violent white supremacy. The static image chosen for the billboard was one strategically chosen to cause maximum provocation at the expense of African people. Many claim that this image is one of a series, however if the intent was not to portray ‘white’ as the victorious, superior oppressor over ‘black’ then one of the more equitable poses portraying the struggle would and should have been used.

The reality of the situation is that Sony were deliberately taking advantage of the socio-political inequality afflicting African people in Holland, which could hinder them from successfully challenging a billboard which is designed to fuel anti-African ideology.

Is this an act of exploitative commercial racism?

Yes.

Benetton: History of racist anti-African adverts

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