Energy drink manufacturer Red Bull has been called out for its racist labeling of various nationalities, as witnessed at a 2020 marketing conference held in the US.
An offensive power point presentation has been leaked to media, one slide singling out nations where Red Bull is sold, with countries and geographic areas flippantly referred to in racist terms.
India is given the umbrella term “call centres”; the Middle East is tagged as “evil-doers” (with an arrow indicating “bombs go here”); and Africa reads “zoo animals come from here”.
China has “they make our stuff” penned across it. And over the map of the USA appears the words “We’re #1!!!!!”.
Canada’s label reads “uninhabited”, while a green blob appears to represent Australia at the bottom right and reads “kangaroos”.
Red Bull is owned by Austrian right-wing billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz who has regularly shown his support for Donald Trump and who opposes refugee asylum in Austria. Mateschitz’s company sold a total of 7.5 billion cans of Red Bull around the globe last year alone.
Some 100 delegates were at the conference when the slide was shown and, although “intended as a joke”, many were said to be offended by the slide, some allegedly complaining to Human Resources with no follow-up action taken.
Red Bull employees have recently expressed their anger over the brand’s lack of positive action during the current Black Lives Matters movement while its Austrian head office considers BLM to be a “local” issue of the USA.
That is, at time of print and before the brand goes into damage-control, patronising various races with its future advertising.