CBCnews

Microsoft in hot water over photoshopped ad

By Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca.

Software giant Microsoft has apologized after it was discovered that an ad on Microsoft's Polish business unit had altered a photo of a group of three people sitting at a boardroom table, changing the race of one of the people from black to white.

The ad featured two men, one Asian and one black, and one white woman seated at a conference table. In the Polish version of the ad, the black man's head was replaced by a white man's head, though the colour of his hands remained unchanged.

"We are looking into the details of this situation," Microsoft spokesperson Lou Gellos said in a statement Tuesday. "We apologize and are in the process of pulling down the image."

Bloggers have criticized the ad, with some arguing Poland's ethnic homogeneity might have played a role in the change. The gaffe has also inspired parodies on technology blogs such as Gizmodo and TechCrunch.

These days technology and marketing experts say the online world is moving towards more personal advertisements, focused on the specific tastes, geographic location and demographics of the user. But somehow, though, I don't think this ad is what they had in mind.

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