(OK. Here's another one screaming, "Blog me!")
First of all, it's a beautiful map and very pleasing to the eye (ignoring actual content and contemporary implications of course).
But, let us go to the Absolut blog site (if you want; I'll quote the relevant portion below):
And I quote, "This particular ad, which ran in Mexico, was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a Mexican sensibility. In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Mexico may feel was more ideal." [emphasis mine]
Boy! Talk about speaking out of both sides of your mouth at once! Seems like this happened once before, though, when white men made empty promises to Native Americans and one of these "Indians" accurately (if cynically) assessed the white man as speaking out of both sides of his mouth. However, it's not just white men with this problem, but the entire human race. We should really call it what it is, lying. We're all guilty of it, more often than we think.
I understand where Absolut is coming from. They are trying to sell a product. In doing so, they are appealing to (or taking advantage of) the target market's sensibilities. That means throwing a believable sales pitch aimed at acquiring money from a buyer for the product which is being sold, within legal and hopefully ethical boundaries. So of course the advertising wasn't intended for America, not because of American sensibilities, but because offending those sensibilities also hurts sales of your product in the American market. Read between the lines, and follow the money (if you do, you'll see this applies for any market anywhere, including and especially for my perspective the American one).
What offends me about this advertising is not so much that Absolut is trying to make a buck or two by appealing to "Mexican sensibilities" (whatever that means, which most likely means advertising that appeals to Mexicans and offends Americans when targeted to the Mexican market, at least here I think). What offends me is that they expect me to believe the nonsense above, that such advertising concepts should not be offensive to Americans and are not designed to offend Americans (of course not, only because they were not targeted to our market, and Absolut deliberately and wisely did not make us aware of their existence, but I digress). That is ridiculous.
I have another phrase for this, and here's what it's called.