03 Apr 2008

“In an Absolut World”

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At least they have to take California!

The same Swedish Absolut vodka brand, which has notoriously previously targeted the Gay Community with special advertising and sponsorships, is now running in magazines and billboards in Mexico an advertising campaign imagining the reversal of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase.

Absolut’s map even takes a particularly partisan Mexican position on the boundary of the Louisiana Purchase.

Did Absolut’s advertising agency think that news of this particular campaign would not reach Americans, particularly Americans residing in Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and the non-Bay-area, non-Hollywood, non-Marin-to-Humboldt portions of California?

Via Gateway Pundit.

7 Feedbacks on "“In an Absolut World”"

Scott D

I wonder how they’d feel about an ad that showed a black man hanging from a tree with the caption “Absolut Justice”? I’m sure it would do wonders for their business in certain parts of Louisiana.

Dominique R. Poirier

On the one hand, Absolut Vodka is a brand that enjoys a long record of provocative and creative ads which have lasted as examples of good creativity for many art directors all around the world.

In that case this ad is provocative, indeed, and likely to draw anyone’s attention; and even to catch the attention of politically concerned persons.
But couldn’t this be envisaged in advertising agency and with the full agreement of the new owner of the brand prior the release of this ad?

On the other hand, some ones such as JDZ may as rightly assume that those who did this ad, as those who paid for, didn’t do anything to appear as a friendly and amiable foreign importer.

Now, an unfortunate coincidence makes that Absolut Vodka is, since as lately as March 2008, owned by Pernod Ricard, a prominent French beverage company largely known in France as the producer of Pastis, the most popular liquor in this country.
Until March 2008, Absolut Vodka belonged to the Swedish government through its V&S Group.

Why should the aforesaid be an unfortunate coincidence, or the expression of a patent lack of correctness, or an absence of empathy from the French toward the United States?

First, because this ad is tantamount to an act of incitation to rebellion or secessionism through propaganda hiding behind the pretext of an ad for a popular brand of vodka.
That’s exactly how the French establishment would react, anyways, if ever an American brand happened to release on the French soil an ad suggesting the idea of an autonomous Corsica, or Basque territory.

Don’t you think so?

Second, because the Pernod Ricard Group is more than a mere French private company like any other.
In fact, it is considered as part of the French “patrimoine” and national culture, and as such its connections with the French political power are obvious.
Also, during the late 60’s, some affairs that made the front pages in 1971, at last, shed an ominous light on the unclear connections of the Pernod Ricard Group with some disputable and parallel activities involving a mix of throats and daggers’ figures and the French milieu of the Cote d’Azur.

All this resulted in the making of the famous movie, The French Connection.

Also, the Pernod Ricard company, then owned by the Hémard family, is known as a former employer of Mr Charles Pasqua, a controversial French political figure and former Minister of the Interior who did a brilliant career in it from January 1952 to 1967, year during which he was number 2 of the Pernod Ricard Group; another detail that make this company somewaht special.

Third, because this idea of an enlarged Mexican Empire countering the power of the United States unfortunately happens to be an authentic and quite serious French idea previously undertaken by French emperor Napoleon III in 1861.

Initially, this plot, born in the mind of the French diplomat to Mexico the Marquis de Radepont, was called “Design for Mexican Regeneration.”

It deserves to be described, at the risk to make a long post, at least for the sake to underline a troubling coincidence and some today’s similarity with this old French story.


Then believing he understood the unarticulated will of Mexican royalists, the Marquis de Radepont proposed that a monarchy could unite the populace and thwart the inherently destabilizing forces of democracy. In short, the French Emperor should conspire to place a European prince on the throne of Mexico—thus opening for him the best future that was ever offered to any man.

Once installed in Mexico, France’s pawn would be free to lead a popular movement of national renewal. Any objections from the United States would wither before the sincerely expressed enthusiasm of the Mexican people for their new sovereign. Internal stability achieved, Mexico then would reach out to Brazil’s Emperor and form a monarchical axis against existing Latin American republics such as Argentina, Chile and Peru (a Mercosur of a sort under European dominion, in other words…)

With the demon of democracy erased from the Latin American map, the New World would look to Rome for spiritual guidance—and to Paris for political direction. American dominance in the region would be decisively nullified. All that was needed, in Radepont’s optimistic view, was a few hundred French troops and an unemployed prince willing to learn Spanish.

In the late 1850s, Mexico plunged into violence as royalist and republican factions battled for supremacy. The economy crumbled. Amid all the lawlessness, combatants from both sides stole great quantities of European silver and other goods. When the fighting halted, the Mexican legislature voted to end all interest payments on debts and claims for two years. Here, at last, was a ready-made excuse for French intervention. Then, in 1861, the country most likely to oppose the move, the United States, became embroiled in its own civil war.

Napoleon III could not have asked for more propitious circumstances.

Most people in France didn’t care whether the North or the South prevailed in the American Civil War. They just wanted it to end so that cotton shipments might resume. Napoleon III was sensitive to this concern because he hoped to avoid economic troubles that could lead to social unrest within France itself. Yet he also understood that Confederate success presented a remarkable opportunity for France to weaken the United States and seize power in Mexico.

Early on, the French minister to the United States (ambassador) Henri Mercier, urged Napoleon III to extend formal recognition to the South. But the emperor would do so only in conjunction with Britain. He knew that recognition meant war—and acting alone threatened to isolate him in Europe and leave France vulnerable to countries without such extensive commitments overseas. In London, there was much sympathy for the South, but the British also demanded clear evidence that the American rebels could sustain their cause. What they wanted was a Confederate Saratoga. Napoleon III would have to wait.

Meanwhile, there were many things France could do to aid the Confederates. The first was granting it belligerent rights, a weakened form of diplomatic recognition that allowed Southern ships the same port privileges as federal ones. In practice, it meant that sea captains who preyed upon Union vessels could find safe harbor in France. Confederates also gained the ability to purchase French goods and secure loans.
In Paris, emissaries from the Lincoln administration who protested this move met with derision. ‘The Government at Washington is the last to have a right to complain of the recognition of a revolutionary government,’ sneered Napoleon III’s foreign minister, Edouard Thouvenal. “It has made itself always conspicuous in recognizing revolutionary governments all over the world.”

This was quite not true: The United States had put off recognizing the republican governments of Latin America for more than a decade following the outbreak of revolution. Such details hardly mattered to the French government, however. Napoleon III was working every angle. By the summer, both Britain and France had announced their respect for the South’s wartime rights. They also issued proclamations of neutrality, which the French emperor would spend the ensuing months doing his best to transform into declarations of war.

One of the most important battles of the Civil War, therefore, would be fought not in the fields of Virginia or along the riverbanks of the Mississippi, but in the diplomatic circles of Europe. Several months earlier, Secretary of State William Seward had proposed that North and South reunite themselves by making common cause against a foreign enemy. Although President Abraham Lincoln rejected this idea, he gave Seward tremendous leeway in conducting foreign policy. This was possible in large part because the mission was so clear: keeping Britain and France from aligning themselves with the Confederacy.

By the end of October 1862, Napoleon III was trying to rally the European powers in support of an armistice in America, a cease-fire that would have aided the South enormously and laid foundation for the international community to recognize Confederate independence. The proposal was poorly timed. Following Antietam, Britain was more hesitant than ever to oppose the Union. In addition, Lincoln had used the victory to announce his Emancipation Proclamation, a document that highlighted the Civil War’s moral dimension and attracted many Europeans to the Northern cause.

In November, Britain once again turned down French pleadings. For nearly two years, the Lincoln administration had believed that Britain posed a greater threat to its interests. But by 1863, France had become the far more dangerous foreign power.

Nowhere was this more apparent than in Mexico, where Napoleon III was determined to avenge the catastrophe of at Puebla and overthrow the republican government. He quickly reinforced his Mexican operation with 30,000 troops. They rolled over Puebla in March and captured Mexico City in June. All along, the French had lied to the United States about their intentions in Mexico, assuring the Lincoln administration that they aimed to do nothing more than collect their debts from Mexico…

“Truthfulness is not, as you know, an element in French diplomacy or manners,” said William Lewis Dayton, the U.S. minister in Paris.

Yet the Americans were not in position to stop them. Lincoln had little choice but to stick to his doctrine of fighting “one war at a time.” Even so, Seward circulated a document declaring that the United States would not tolerate “any person not of Mexican nationality” on the Mexican throne.

Neither would the Mexican. “The imperial (French) government has decided to humiliate Mexico and impose her will on it,” said president-in-exile Benito Juarez, a Zapotec Indian. “I can assure you… the imperial government will not succeed in subjugating the Mexicans, and its armies will not have a single day of peace.”

Despite he threats of Seward and Juarez, Napoleon III did not waste a moment implementing the next phase of his “Grand Design.” He continued his policy of deception, announcing at one point that “it is contrary to my interest, my principles, or my origin to impose any kind of government whatsoever on the Mexican people.”
He was in fact finalizing plans to send a handpicked lackey to sit on his Mexican throne. He settled on the hapless Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria. A kindly indecisive man whose only previous experience in governance was commanding his gardeners around his estate near Trieste, he was all of thirty-one when his wife, the Archduchess Carlotta, set sail for their imperial future.

Maximilian was, by all accounts, a perfect dupe—a man who would gladly take orders from those to whom he owed his crown. But to send such a lightweight into the violent world of nineteenth-century Mexican politics was a crime. Believing that this pampered archduke would survive the brutal tumult of Mexican politics—as well as to convince the proud Mexicans that their future lay in French hands—seemed an astonishing flight of fancy.

But self-delusion was common currency in France. The French were abundantly convinced of their ability to change the world—or at least rearrange it to serve their interests.

Although Napoleon III may have been rubbing his hands in anticipation, the Latin republics were uniformly outraged at his plans for hemispheric domination. Seeing through French assurances, they informed Lincoln of their wish to embark immediately on a crusade with the United States to expel the invaders.

It was a volatile time, and many Americans began to wake up to the French threat south of the border. The Atlantic Monthly hollered in protest: “A dependency of France established at our doors! The most restless, ambitious, and warlike nation in Europe our neighbors! Who shall tell what results, momentous and lasting, may follow in the rain of such events?”

In summer 1863, the South’s final collapse seemed only a matter of time. Yet this change in fortune did nothing to stop Napoleon III from plotting further moves against the North. He tried to enlist Britain in a plan to break the Union naval blockade by sending a fleet of warships to the mouth of the Mississippi. He also permitted Confederate minister Slidell to obtain a large loan from a French bank in order to commission the construction of four cruisers and two ironclad rams in Bordeaux—a clear violation of French neutrality.

As he knew that the British were not going to side with him, he began to turn his attention to away from aiding the Confederates and toward securing U.S. recognition of Maximilian’s government. Perhaps he could win a partial victory for French imperialism. But Seward toyed the emperor masterfully, stating firmly that the United States would not recognize Mexico’s phony government. Also, when federal agents uncovered the Confederate naval construction, Paris feigned surprise and blocked the ships from falling into Southern hands.

As the Civil War came to an end, both Lincoln and Seward were anxious for peace. Other Americans, however, wanted to fight the French. Senator A McDougall of California called for a declaration of war if France did not remove its troops from Mexico. The House passed a resolution announcing opposition to “any monarchical government erected on the ruins of any republican government in America under the auspices of any European power.”

General Philip Sheridan provided assistance to Juarez in supplying him with arms and ammunitions. By mid-summer 1865, Juarez, having organized a pretty good sized army, was in possession of…nearly the whole of Mexico down to San Louis Potosi.

In January 1866, Napoleon III sent a letter to Maximilian informing him of his decision to withdraw French troops. On March 12, 1867, the last French soldier left Mexico. Maximilian was abandoned to his fate and his military situation deteriorated rapidly. He retreated to Queretaro, where Republican forces surrounded and captured him. Despite pleas from the United States to spare him, the would-be ruler of France’s second New World Empire was executed by firing squad on June 19.

French leaders are always claiming that their country helped make American independence possible. Yet they never acknowledge France’s role in a brazen effort to dissolve the American union.

So, such a silly idea the French have had today to celebrate their acquisition of Absolut Vodka in releasing, as first ad made for this brand under their leadership, a pictorial representation of the warmongering “Design for Mexican Regeneration” of Napoleon III, launched 147 years ago…

They should be wary not to let vodka make them talking too much, as they are just conspicuously displaying so much demonstration of friendship and good will toward England and the United States…

Note: the whole part of this comment relating the story of the “Design for Mexican Regeneration” of Napoleon III is an excerpt from the enlightening “Our Oldest Enemy – A History of America’s Disastrous Relationship with France,” by John J. Miller and Mark Molesky, 2004, Broadway Books.


Maybe the idea is like…if you live here, you’ll need our Vodka…


Let me start by saying IT IS JUST AN ADD! Imagine the world if it took offence for all things like this plus the ones that are really already offensive. I think we would all be at war at least. For example: Are people from Mexico sending angry letters to movie directors who portray them as living in dust towns and moving around on horses and not in cars in late 20th century, being the bad guys, being massacred by “american heroes”, etc.? The answer is no. Why? because it is just a movie. A movie does not hurt people (at least not in Mexico) It will let people around the world belive mexicans are riding horses to move around, etc and that is just one example of the many that come to mind, but it doesn’t matter because when I press “stop” button on the dvd player I’ll look out the window and admire my Roadster with boxer motor (hence the name Boxter) by Porche sitting on my driveway and laugh.
I do not hate U.S. Citizens, I hate people who run that wonderful contry with their idiotic decitions and seems no one can do anything to stop it. That is so SAD. Installing the wall of shame in the U.S. – Mexico border like it was Eastern-Western Germany… Didn’t they take that wall down because it was made in their primitive minded, war-driven years? War driven sounds so U.S.
Invading a contry and killing inocent people (IRAK) sounds very offencive … and we are speaking thousands upon thousands of inocent children, women, news reporters, etc. supposedly because the U.S is helping Irak have a Democratic government, Is it justifiable? I think it is not. Oil sounds like the main reason for why the U.S. troops are there.
There were’nt any weapons of mass destruction found there so then WHY did the U.S. troops stay there? why are there sending more and more troops there? And the Guantanamo prison… OMFG! That are some sick dudes runing that prison: phisical torture, psychological horror, degradation, etc. “yeah! lets take pictures of us doing all of this inhumane shit” and thats only what we know, what got filtered out. Don’t let yourself be brainwashed by your government. Imagine what we dont know… I want to emphasize that I don NOT hate u.s. people, but dont be surprised if people around the world show you how discontent they are with your contry’s behavior and you have no one to blame except your politishans like that pig brain, coward George W. Bush. So please people, there are much more important issues to be offended about than silly adds. Have an open mind and be happy.

P.S. Forgive my ortography, I’m Mexican and proud.

Concerned Citizen


“I do not hate U.S. Citizens, I hate people who run that wonderful contry with their idiotic decitions and seems no one can do anything to stop it.”

Worry about your own leaders and their idiotic decisions.

Fior na Croise

I think the ad is saying, “Imagine if Americans were drunk off their asses on vodka in the 19th Century. This is what the map of North America would look like.”

KCHO, you’re the one who’s been brainwashed my media propaganda. Thousands upon thousands of innocent terrorists who blow up women and children are killed by American soldiers. That is a good thing. Keeping those miscreants off the Arab streets by containing them in a prison where they live better than they ever did in their native countries and preventing them from killing other innocents–another good thing.

Any time someone says, “I don’t hate you guys, BUT…” I change that to mean, “I don’t want you guys to know I hate you.”

But hey, it’s just an ad.


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