Air France has come under fire this week after its latest promotional ad campaign, which consists of a series of 18 photos featuring mostly Caucasian women dressed and made up to represent countries the airline serves, depicts Japan as the land of giant-haired geisha.
It’s hardly the most offensive ad ever – and it’s certainly better than ANA’s big-nosed white men commercial from earlier this year – but critics are calling for it to be pulled, with many suggesting that it is “stereotypically racist” and in poor taste. Fortunately, Internet users were on hand to “fix” Air France’s photos, and make them that little bit more Japanese.
“Air France, France is in the air is daring to be different to carry the ambitions of the Trans-form 2015 plan,” an Air France press release states. “The visuals, created by the Argentine photographers Sofia & Mauro, create an effect of surprise by mixing heritage and modernity, while echoing Air France’s past as a renowned poster specialist. Pleasure, youth and vitality emerge from images of the Moulin Rouge, the French Revolution, the Sun King, master chefs and haute couture.”
They’re stylish alright, and definitely eye-catching, but the photo depicting Japan – with that enormous headdress and steely eyed model – seems awfully cliché, not to mention rather outdated.
In response, activists asked Net users to create their own interpretations of Air France’s posters by providing them with the following template with which to get creative and starting off the #FIXEDIT4UAF hashtag.
At left and below is just a small selection of what netizens have come up with so far.
Did Air France genuinely slip up this time, or are people simply being a little too sensitive?
Sources: Huffington Post Japan, Air France
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