Alaska Airlines Apologizes After “Meet Our Eskimo” Branding Effort Offends

8697_ak_hero_plane_16x9_mbr_m1aWhen you’ve gone and repainted your planes with a new logo, we can understand the desire to show it off to everyone. But maybe consider running your new ad slogan by a few people before it goes public.

KTUU reports that the carrier apologized and made a tweak to its recent announcement after it came under fire for using the phrase “Meet our Eskimo” in its rebranding campaign earlier this week.

“We apologize and take full responsibility for this insensitive reference,” Alaska Airlines chief executive Brad Tilden said. “We are immediately taking down this reference, and pledge that we will work to be both respectful and fully cognizant of the importance of this symbol to the Native people of Alaska.”

Tilden said the airline is committed to working with the Alaska Native community to ensure its future actions reflect the company’s “profound respect and admiration for the Native people.”

The airline took hits on social media shortly after revealing subtle changes to the Eskimo photo used on the tails of its planes for its use of the “Meet our Eskimo” phrase to publicize the more streamlined version of its logo.

For many who spoke out against the airline, the issue was in the way the company seemed to imply it owned an Eskimo, not the use of the term Eskimo, KTUU reports.

“It was very condescending,” an Alaska resident tells KTUU. “My first thought was, ‘You don’t own an Eskimo.’ It just seemed wrong.”

In another instance an Anchorage resident said she was deeply disappointed in the Seattle-based airline, and invited executives for the company to attend a racial equality summit next week.

“True reconciliation and healing happens when a door is opened for conversation,” the woman tells KTUU.

Others used the hashtag #NotYourEskimo to voice their displeasure on social media.

“It’s another thing entirely to say this is ours… and what we’re selling,” the woman said.

Alaska Airlines chief executive apologizes for using “Meet our Eskimo” reference [KTUU]

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