So that leads me to say "WHAT THE *@$!"
How can an ad like this be forgotten? If you know anything about advertisements, then you know that this ad had to get the green light from multiple people. That means that there are multiple people at Sony who need race relation training.
Now because this ad is a bit old, I am not going to sit around and break down all that is clearly wrong with it. I just wanted to take a moment and answer the question that is floating around the internet "Why are people talking about this ad because its old".
The answer again is simple, this ad should have taught companies "Don't go there" "Make sure your staff that deals with advertising has some level of COMMON SENSE when it comes to how any group of people may view your ads" Sure you can't make everyone happy but this is a clear violation of race relations. If this was a teacher grabbing her student in a classroom saying "Look out Black White is Coming" that teacher/coach, whatever would be fire.
This also is a reminder to companies when you thinking about hiring people for your ad services that college degrees and past work does not mean that a person or group of people are in touch with what society deems appropriate. Next time you want to do an ad that INSPIRES race relations or ease the tension of a situation, grab a test group of those people that you are trying to inspire. Grab a few test groups, maybe one from each coast. Have them preview the concept or ad (if you were silly enough to do it before the test group was brought in) and take all the feedback very seriously.
Urban Branding has been running test groups for years and one thing that companies have quickly learned is a test group in California is far different that a group form Ohio. These test groups have saved many companies from unneeded damage control. But if you can't afford or do not want to invest in a test group, them you simply need to exercise common sense.
It's not that hard to see why ads like these are bad for society.