Controversial Sprinter Ad

image Lots of blogs have been posting this recent Intel ad, pointing out the racist implications of six black men appearing to bow down to a white man. (I actually think all the crouching runners are the same guy, photoshopped into six different places.)

Whether or not it's racist isn't the question. The question for the MoH is: Is it really an ad by Intel? After all, although it's been widely posted, most blogs haven't specified exactly where the ad ran.

The answer is that it definitely is an actual Intel ad. It appeared in a recent Dell catalog. seems to have been the first blog to post it. Intel has recently posted an explanation and apology on their blog:
Intel’s intent of our ad titled “Multiply Computing Performance and Maximize the Power of Your Employees” was to convey the performance capabilities of our processors through the visual metaphor of a sprinter. We have used the visual of sprinters in the past successfully.
Unfortunately, our execution did not deliver our intended message and in fact proved to be insensitive and insulting. Upon recognizing this, we attempted to pull the ad from all publications but, unfortunately, we failed on one last media placement.
We are sorry and are working hard to make sure this doesn’t happen again.


Posted on Tue Jul 31, 2007


God knows there's more than enough racism in the world, but to me the black guys in the ad look like they're in the starting blocks for a foot race, not "bowing" to the white guy.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  03:14 AM
So, what? Even if if it is one black man, or six pics of the same guy, or six different guys all bowing down to Whitey. If they are, it is there choice. I'm SURE they were paid quite handsomely for their/his actions. Ol' Whitey sure ain't in the position of authority in that ad, and even if he was, gimme a break. It's clear this/these guy(s) are athletes in a starter position. I don't see any gun in his hand though, so even if they are "bowing to him", it was not a forced action. However, at the next sprinter race you attend, make sure to have the starter arrested for oppressing the black athletes and forcing them to bow down to him against thir will, AT GUN POINT!
Posted by Christopher  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  06:35 AM
sorry, CMG and Cman, but I probably would have done a double-take at that ad, without having been prompted to view it as potentialy racsist. I would characterize the ad as racially-insensitive at best. There is just no way anybody is THAT white and nerdy lookin'. Shame on Intel. Kinda makes me want to see those African gentlemen rise up and kick Massa's ass.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  07:34 AM
Anyone who sees that as racisit or racially insenitive needs to pop a humour pill and lighten up.

Some people will see racism in anything.
Posted by Renquist  in  Glasgow, Scotland  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  09:16 AM
Wow... I completely missed the skin color of the sprinters...

Guess I was racially blind to this one.
Posted by oppiejoe  in  Michigan - USA  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  11:53 AM
OK everyone, name the last great white sprinter. Name the last great white distance runner. I looked at the larger version of the picture and couldn't see any bowing, I also saw sprinters in a starting position. However, because of the shading, shadows and the lighting in general I had trouble seeing the sprinters as black. I bet that the first blogs to scream about the ad are using this "racism" in order to raise money to fight the issue. If not them, then probably some "civil-rights activist" is doing so.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  03:58 PM
Seems to me that a few hundred years of slavery and discrimination does tend to make one somewhat sensitive to racial overtones, but I've been wrong before. If it were only one "sprinter" portrayed, it might not have some suggestibility to some of us, but the positional relationship between the dark gents, heads lowered in unison, aimed as if in deificational submission to the really, really Caucasian fellow that makes it dicy. One can only wonder what reaction the ad might have had should the "sprinters" not been African of heritage, and the snotty, arms-folded dork been so painfully pale and pasty. Oh, and CC, Frank Shorter, but I'm sure he's before your time
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  04:55 PM
If they actually started to run, they'd crash into each other.
Posted by PlantPerson  on  Thu Aug 02, 2007  at  06:06 AM
mmkay now... ponder this people: if there was an African American standing in the middle with 6 (or 1) white athlete(s) bowing down to him .. would this be getting the same press that it is now with the situation reversed? What about if 6 dudes were bowing down to a chick? well thats equally sexist .. am I wrong in assuming that? Bottom line is.. you can claim that ANYTHING is racist (I mean why are there 2 black cookies and a single layer of white filling in oreos? must be some devious plan of their's to point out how inferior white ppl are? I don't think so... and if you do... I am truly sorry that you feel that way as you simply are an inferior human being..)
Posted by !Racist  on  Fri Aug 03, 2007  at  03:41 PM
The media is largely controlled by "The People", so whether you find it offensive or not enough of "The People" do...take the recent ad in New Yorks Time Square for example....the ad was showing a bunch of nude people showing there back side for a new self cleaning toilet seat...enough of "The People" seen it as crude and offensive and the ad was covered...When doin advertisements in america we must look at the bigger picture for we are a sensitive country. Its hard to forget the past when the past continually shines its bitter face at you. so if we have so much power when a select group, neighborhood, or region of people get together to say something...image what we could do if we'd stick together as a nation of Americans....
Posted by anyone  on  Sat Aug 04, 2007  at  09:38 PM
The media are rarely controlled by "The People" but by pressure groups. And too often these pressure groups have a stake in continuing the status quo. There is too much money in being offended at whatever.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Sat Aug 04, 2007  at  10:21 PM
I love oreos!
Posted by Brant  on  Mon May 05, 2008  at  09:11 AM
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