The people at Bic's advertising firm should probably start looking for new jobs after the Bic for Her shenanigans we wrote about on Tuesday. The above ad was pulled in Canada after numerous complaints claiming that the ad was racist. In the commercial, an Asian military official is condemning various prisoners, and chooses to pardon one….but his pen doesn't work. A lady in a cocktail dress whistles at him, and he slams his rubber "condemned" stamp down on the paper, ending the prisoner's hope of a pardon.
What's so bad about this? Well, it's casting a pretty negative stereotype of the Communist regimes in China and North Korea, which is what I'm assuming this is parodying. The language used in the commercial is apparently completely made up, and not authentic of *any* Asian language. The final point: using a military tribunal to sell pens is just a little bit out of line, right? It's not a scare tactic type of thing, but it's a little harsh to conjure up military imagery to…sell pens. I don't know how this is even supposed to work, either. The official didn't really lose anything from not having a good pen, the prisoner did. He had no control over the pen, so it's not as if he could have somehow prevented the pen from running out of ink.
This ad isn't effective, and it's a little dark for something as simple as selling pens.