The controversial clip on Instagram was advertising the new Golf 8.
The controversial clip on Instagram was advertising the new Golf 8.

Volkswagen completes internal probe into racist car ad

By Edward Taylor Time of article published Jun 5, 2020

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Hamburg, Germany - Volkswagen has completed an internal report into how it came to publish a racist advert, the German carmaker said on Friday, adding that its findings will be released once its management board has reviewed the matter.

Volkswagen's management board, headed by Chief Executive Herbert Diess meets regularly on Tuesdays.

In the clip, a black man is depicted next to a new VW Golf, being pushed around by an oversized white hand, which then flicks him into a building adorned with the sign "Petit Colon".

Petit Colon is a real cafe in Buenos Aires, Argentina, located near the Teatro Colon. In French the term translates into "small settler," which has colonial undertones.

Criticism of the advert went viral last month and the company apologised and pulled the clip, prompting VW's labour leaders to accuse Volkswagen's management of damaging the company.

Volkswagen itself admitted that the advert was racist and insulting. It said that agencies usually produce its advertising campaigns and it was investigating where the mistake happened and would make its findings public.

"The clip is disgusting and inexcusable," Volkswagen works council member Bernd Osterloh said at the time.

The German car company said it did not tolerate any form of racism.

Juergen Stackmann, the VW brand's board member for sales and marketing, and Elke Heitmueller, head of diversity management, took to Twitter and LinkedIn to apologise.

"We understand the public outrage at this. Because we're horrified, too. This video is an insult to all achievements of the civil rights movement. It is an insult to every decent person," they wrote.

"We at Volkswagen are aware of the historical origins and the guilt of our company during the Nazi regime. That is precisely why we resolutely oppose all forms of hatred, slander/propaganda and discrimination."


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