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Chocolate-vanilla Obama ice cream slammed as racist

By Adriana Stuijt     Mar 20, 2009 in Business
Chocolate-vanilla ice cream is one of several Russian products being marketed using the image and name of the first African-American president, even as critics call the ads racist. However, the creator of the Duet ice cream bars says it's a huge joke.
The Duet ice cream bars have a chocolate-flavoured centre embedded in a layer of vanilla.
The ad for Duet ice cream bars features a smiling, cartoonish black man flashing a V-for-Victory sign in front of the White House, with the Capitol building behind it - along with the Russian slogan: "Everyone's talking about it: dark inside white!"
The ad was designed by Voskhod adverting agency in Yekaterinburg, Russia.Its creative director was Andrey Gubaydullin; art Director / Illustrator was Vlad Derevyannykh and the copywriters were Aleksandr Parkhomenko, Evgeny Primachenko
Some blasted the ad as insensitive after it surfaced on English-language websites this week. "This is just racist," said one visitor to the Ads of the World website, while another asked: "Is the ice cream as tasteless as the ad?"
Andrei Gubaidullin, who created the ad, told AFP that it was not racist and that Russia simply had a different attitude to race than Western countries.
'Teasing ethnic groups isn't racist'
"For Russia, this is not racist. It is fun and that's it," said Gubaidullin, creative director at Voskhod advertising agency, based in the Urals Mountains city of Yekaterinburg.
"We don't consider teasing ethnic groups racist. It is just seen as a joke," he said by telephone, adding that he personally liked Obama.
In another ad to play on Obama's race, a leaflet recently seen in Moscow used a photograph of the US president to promote a tanning salon and tooth-whitening services.
And a leaflet circulated in Moscow last fall showed a smiling Obama with the slogan "Full Dental Democracy!" to promote the MeraDent chain of dental clinics. see
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