Coca Cola Christmas ad labelled an attack on indigenous peoples in Mexico

There have been calls for the festive advertising campaign to be banned...

Coca Cola, Christmas, mexico

A still from the controversial Coca Cola advertisement

Coca Cola has long-been associated with Christmas - the soft drink company famously gave Santa his bright red garb. But the sugary drink maker has hit a sour note in Mexico where it has pulled a Christmas advertisement which sparked protests from groups representing indigenous peoples in the country.

“This Christmas a group of young people decided to give something very special to the indigenous community of Totontepec [Villa] de Morelos in Oaxaca,” reads text on an opening screen (translation by Associated Press).

It says that 81.6% of indigenous Mexicans speak an indigenous tongue and feel rejected by Mexican society.

The advertisement proceeds to show a group of healthy, model-like, light-skinned, young people building a Christmas tree and making a pilgrimage to visit an indigenous community to share a Coke under the Christmas tree.

The Alliance for Food Health - a coalition of consumer rights and health groups - was quick to call on Mexico's National Council to Prevent Discrimination to ban the advertisement and to label the video an attack on the dignity of these communities.

The video was labelled, "outrageous for the indigenous [people]" by Diana Turner, a spokeswoman for Consumer Power which is part of the Alliance.

Mexico has rising rates of obesity and diabetes - and this is a particular problem among indigenous peoples. The country has one of the highest rates of fizzy drink consumption in the world - it also has the highest rate of deaths from diseases associated with the consumption of goods with high sugar contents.

Coke took the ad down last night after it experienced a social media backlash, with members of the public using the campaign's #AbreTuCorazon or #OpenYourHeart” hashtag to vent their anger.

It responded to these criticisms by saying, "We appreciated you sharing your concerns. We will be sure to pass along your comments."