SAUDI ARABIA

Got an electric car? "May eagles gouge your eyes out!"

This advert for a Nissan-Renault car, aired in Israel, has incensed the Saudi population. Read more...

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This advert for a Nissan-Renault car, aired in Israel, has incensed the Saudi population.

According to the Jerusalem Post, a Saudi official speaking on a United Arab Emirates channel said that Nissan had made "a grave error in playing on [racist] sentiments", to the extent that the Franco-Japanese company deserves punishing.

The ad is promoting Tiida, a low mileage car that Nissan-Renault hope to sell in Israel - a country that is trying to reduce its energy dependence. The car manufacturer is teaming with an Israeli entrepreneur on Project Better Place in an electric vehicle project (thanks to Andrew for the tip).

 

"I (...) don't think it is funny"

Ahmed Al-Omran is a student in Saudi Arabia. He blogs here

I don't think it is offensive, but I also don't think it is funny. I find it tasteless and it plays on cheap stereotypes. It is a poorly done ad and they should have expected that it would cause a negative reaction in the Gulf. I hear Nissan has withdrawn the ad after the controversy that it caused".

"This ad would only annoy the princes"

Abdullah is one of our Observers in Riyadh.

"I can't say too much about this. But as far as I'm concerned this ad would only annoy the princes, not the people. Also, the decrease in petrol use by cars is not really a problem for the Saudi economy, because it only represents a tiny part of oil consumption [oil is principally used in industry]."