Mercedes-Benz made waves for the wrong reason at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
It didn’t have anything to do with their cloud-based Mbrace2 system that brings everything from Yelp! to Facebook right into the latest Mercedes models, or anything related to the cars, for that matter. In fact, what’s really making a stir is how the company chose to use the iconic image of Ernesto “Che” Guevara as a backdrop with their emblem stamped on his beret.
Mercedes told msnbc.com that it was one of many images used during their presentation and that they only meant to evoke the idea that their cars are revolutionary, but that they do not condone Guevara’s actions. Trouble bubbled up, however, after the Heritage Foundation, a conservative political group in Washington published a blog with the headline “Mercedes-Benz Uses Communist Madman Che Guevara to Sell Luxury Cars.”
Regardless of what the company actually meant by putting the image up, it created a notion that Mercedes might, on some level, condone the communist revolutionary’s actions in Cuba, which isn’t an easy message for everyone to swallow, regardless of its validity.