I’m of Irish descent, and as such am used to the traditional references about the Irish so this kind of stuff rolls off my back. But what I do find amazing is that ad agencies continue to fail to thoroughly think through some “jokes” they use in their ads.
Maybe the fact that we Irish are traditionally thick-skinned and don’t organize a boycott every time somebody steps on a shamrock is the reason we’re not considered “off limits” when it comes to mockery from Madison Avenue, but not this time:
Left with egg on its face, Denny’s has apologized for its commercial joking about the Irish Potato Famine.
The spot, promoting an all-you-can-eat french fries and pancakes offer, drew plenty of complaints and threats of protests by Irish Americans, saying it made light of the 19th century famine that left more than a million people dead.
Can you imagine an ad joking about a deadly famine in Africa ever making it on air?
But Irish-Americans don’t have a self-proclaimed “leader” like other groups do (not since Irish civil rights leader Shamus O’Sharpton was killed attempting to hijack a Guinness truck), so often the insults fall by the wayside.
A group of my Irish friends and I who are tired of the perpetuation of Irish stereotypes had planned a protest at the local Denny’s but ended up stopping off at the bar on the way and never quite made it.