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Monday, August 27, 2012

'Japanese Joe' in the Fort

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 9:36 AM

UPDATE: YouTube removed the video previously embedded here following a copyright complaint from Randall Ford.

Two days ago, a YouTube user posted the above video, saying it was a radio commercial for Ft. Smith auto dealer Randall Ford that had been pulled after airing in the market only a few times. In the commercial, an announcer mimicking a stereotypical Asian accent who calls himself "Japanese Joe" encourages people to buy American cars.

We called Randall Ford, and were put in touch with someone who we were told was the general manager, who identified himself as Bradford (he eventually refused to give his last name, but the Randall Ford website lists Bradford Randall as the general manager).

Bradford said the commercial aired "three or four years ago" but was pulled after "a few days" due to complaints. He said he saw how it could be "construed as offensive," but said the ad's only intent was to be humorous.

"We'd never tried the humor approach before, and really it was funny," he said. "It was just about [how] all the electronics in your home are Japanese or foreign. It was a 'buy American' ad, and it really was not incredibly offensive unless you're just very sensitive to that sort of thing."

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