German car giant Mercedes-Benz and its comically mustachioed CEO Dieter Zetsche are getting railroaded on the Interwebs today after advertising a new car sharing program under Che Guevara's face and the slogan: Viva la revolucion!
Nein! Cuban activists including Felix Rodriguez -- one of the guys who helped hunt Che down in Bolivia -- are calling for mass Benz protests. But really, Mercedes' biggest crime is advertising laziness.
Somewhere in Berlin, some advertising flaks wearing Sprokets black turtlenecks and sipping oh so tiny coffees were brainstorming:
"Joerg, vee need something zat says: Revolution!" Brunheide says.
"By the hammer of Thor!" Joerg says. "Let's use Che!"
And so was born an advertising concept that any middle-school punk who just discovered Rage Against the Machine could have created.
Really? Che's stupid famous portrait? Viva la Revolucion?
The backdrop came during a car show earlier this week, where Zetsche added to the lame message by spouting something about most car sharing being "communism," while Benz's program will be totally capitalist and amazing, just like Che would want.
Predictably, the backlash has been swift.
"I do not understand how a company like Mercedes-Benz, which sells luxury cars, can use a figure of a man who preached class struggle," Rodriguez tells The Miami Herald today, "(a man) who preached violence and bloodshed and wanted to do away with capitalism and establish socialism."
Benz has already apologized for causing offense, but we'd prefer a full mea culpa from lazy, lazy Joerg and Brunhilda.