As a coda to one of the most reviled sets of Super Bowl ads, the CEO of Salesgenie.com has apologized for using stereotypical ethnic accents in the “Panda” and “Ramesh” spots. With the token comment that “we never thought anyone would be offended,” InfoUSA chief executive Vinod Gupta said he will stop running the panda ad. In defense of the spot, he told The New York Times: “The pandas are Chinese. They don’t speak German.” By that logic, shouldn’t they be speaking Chinese? As for “Ramesh,” Gupta says he loves when people make fun of his own Indian accent, so he’s going to keep the spot in rotation. (Though you have to wonder if that one would have slipped by unscathed if it weren’t for the “I have seven kids” line.) One uplifting tidbit for copywriters everywhere: Gupta says he wrote both ads himself.
—Posted by David Griner