German vehicle giant Volkswagen apologised Wednesday for an Instagram ad that showed a giant white hand pushing around a black person, after an online backlash slamming the clip as racist.
The ad shows an oversized white woman's hand picking up a black man in a suit and moving him around before flicking him into a building and away from the yellow Golf vehicle parked nearby.
The hand then flicks him to an open doorway and pushes him inside a French cafe.
And the cafe's name is Petit Colon, which in French literally means the "Little Colonist".
Viewers also noted the floating letters in the video clip faded in such a way that it appeared to spell out an offensive word for people of colour in German.
"Without question: the video is inappropriate and tasteless", it said on Wednesday in a statement. Volkswagen initially defended the ads, but eventually backtracked and released a statement saying "We fully understand the disgust and anger in response to the video". "That is precisely why we resolutely oppose all forms of hatred and discrimination", it added.
A white hand then "grabs" him and moves him to the door of a restaurant, where he's flicked inside.
"We will clarify how something like this could happen, and there will be consequences".
The company was created by Adolf Hilter to produce a "people's car" and used forced labour to support the Nazi war effort.
"Many initiatives in the company and in our global workforce promote diversity, integration and unprejudiced cooperation. This is bad and racist communication".
"That makes it all the more annoying that we made this mistake".
However social media users weren't convinced the company was unaware of the content, saying on Instagram and Twitter that the racist overtones were obvious. "It is an insult to every decent person", they wrote.