macs pulls controversial ad

New marketing aimed at 16-year-olds causes public outcry.

Mac’s is in trouble once again for offending the general public with promotions centered on its frozen carbonated beverages. This time, the trouble comes from 19 videos produced and posted by the store on the Internet.

One of the most controversial of the videos feature to scantily clad women embracing each other in a forest, only to be seduced by a talking tree. The women, enraged, begin chopping at the tree with axes. The trees wounds spit out the new flavor of beverage, all before a series of other phallic events follow.

The new campaign and beverage are aimed at 16-year-olds and focus on distributing the advertisements on popular blogs and video websites, such as YouTube. So far, Mac’s has pulled nine of the videos—including the woman/talking tree ad—from its Website after public outcry.

“People were not comfortable with some of the contents, so we were sensitive to that,” Mac’s marketing manager Russ Sunderji told The Province.

Despite the controversy the videos collected, the campaign did well with its target audience, Sunderji added.

“We needed an aggressive campaign that spoke to them in their language. At 16, nothing is too raw or edgy. If you look at pop culture today, from music videos to video games, this is the world they live in.”

While Mac’s has removed the videos, they are still available for view at many other outlets.

“It’s the nature of the online world. It’s a risk you take when you use the medium. You have no control over what people do with your ads,” Sunderji said, adding that the company can’t tell others to take down its videos.


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