The ad, which can be seen here, shows a white IT manager looking pretty pleased with himself, having successful managed to "multiply computing performance" and "maximise the power" of his employees.
Here's the downer: for some bizarre reason, the employees are all depicted as black athletes, crouched as if starting a sprint race - but also appearing to all bow down before the smug white dude.
Public response to the controversy seems to range from "Stupid ad but not racism" and "Not even a little bit racist. At worst, stereotypical. At best a completely crap ad", through to "This one is a shit storm waiting to happen. You could say it's racist for so many reasons."
Whilst we don't suggest for a second that anybody at Intel is racist, it is slightly strange that this one got through MarComms without anybody pointing out the potential problem. Is everyone asleep over in San Jose? µ
Intel, it seems recognised its folly, but a tad too late. Nancy Bhagat Vice president, director of Integrated Marketing at the chip maker writes of the ad in her bog, here: "We have used the visual of sprinters in the past successfully. Unfortunately, our execution did not deliver our intended message and in fact proved to be insensitive and insulting. Upon recognizing this, we attempted to pull the ad from all publications but, unfortunately, we failed on one last media placement."
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ