An Apology From Zooppa.com

Our congratulations goes out to Zooppa.com, the creative ad site for those wishing to produce multi-media ads for their favorite brands. As they say, Zooppa is the place where you can make your own ads for famous brands. Brands provide a creative brief for each competition, and award prizes for the best ads.

ICTMN Columnist Julianne Jennings wrote a column in December that featured ZOOPPA’s participation in promoting an ad produced in Italy that was racist towards Natives.

We applaud Zooppa Marketing Manager Michael Burlin for taking quick and decisive action in removing the offending ad from its site and its competition.

Below is their letter to ICTMN Julianne Jennings explaining the apologies. It takes a big man to admit when he is wrong. It also takes a forward-thinking company to hire such a forward-thinking person.

Hi Julianne,

Your December 26 article, “Where’s the Morality in Advertising Ethics?” on ICTMN.com discusses an offensive commercial that a videomaker submitted to a contest on Zooppa’s website.

Advertising that profits off of racial stereotypes is unacceptable, so I want to thank you for bringing this video to our attention and convey how much we regret that it was submitted to our Italian website as we consider this a very important issue.

In Section 6 of our Membership Obligations, we explicitly state that members will not publish through our website “content that describes, references, or otherwise communicates hate or discrimination concerning gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or nationality.”

This event has prompted us to reevaluate our routines and processes for moderating content submitted by community members for racially insensitive and offensive material and we're planning to better educate our our global staff about race-based marketing.

Thank you and the Indian Country Today Media Network again for identifying this video and helping us resolve this issue. I’d be happy to organize a phone call with my CEO Wil Merritt to discuss this further.

Michael Burlin is the marketing manager for Zooppa.com.