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State Farm ad: racist, or just run of the mill?

State-farm

The latest ad in State Farm's "Magic Jingle" campaign (via ad agency Translation) is generating some debate over its portrayal of a black couple—specifically, the nagging, obnoxious girlfriend. While few are calling the ad racist, several viewers have commented in blogs and on Twitter that it perpetuates a negative image of black women as finger-wagging ball-breakers. Critics probably have a better case to make here than with the Duncan Hines debacle, but that's not saying much. While the State Farm ad clearly plays to stereotypes, I'd argue they are the same stereotypes we see across all advertising, regardless of race: Guys are dumb and ugly; women are shrews. But these issues don't seem to be getting nearly as much discussion on YouTube as the hotness of the spot's two famous underwear models, Selita Ebanks and Mehcad Brooks. In fact, YouTube user A550RGY even shares this delightful note: "I'd do all 3 ladies, especially that delicious little latina claims agent. lol." See? Who says we don't live in a post-racial America?

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