In the spirit of sharing and giving, Coca-Cola has released an advertisement that features a group of fair-skinned, young, white people sharing the fizzy, sugary drink to a remote area of Oaxaca, Mexico. The advertisement, however, was met with widespread criticism, with consumer rights and health groups stating that the ad carried major racist implications, according to The Daily Mail.

According to Coca-Cola, the advertisement, which is part of the #AbreTuCorazon (Open Your Heart) campaign, was meant to "convey a message of unity and joy." Critics, however, state that it "reproduced and reinforced stereotypes of indigenous people as culturally and racially subordinate," reports Delish.

The Alliance for Food Health - a coalition of consumer rights and health organizations, has specifically requested the Mexican government to completely block the advertisement from airing. The group states that the theme of the commercial attacks the dignity of indigenous people and contributes to the deteriorating health of Mexican communities.

Responding to the intense criticism, Coca-Cola has removed the commercial from its YouTube channel and all planned television spots. The company has also issued an apology for those who were offended by the commercial.

As part of Coca-Cola Mexico's Christmas campaign for this year the video 'Mixe Community Totontepec' was launched on digital channels, seeking to convey a message of unity and joy. Our intention was never to be insensitive to or underestimate any indigenous group," the company spokesperson stated.

"We have now removed the video and apologize to anyone who may have been offended. In nearly 90 years in the country, Coca-Cola Mexico has worked to share messages of unity and friendship to contribute to build a society free of prejudices. "

Watch the controversial commercial here:

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