It's interesting that when I saw the Riquetta chocolate poster with the indian woman in it I was like "How beautiful!" and when I saw the Riquetta pralinen poster with the small african boy I was like "How racist!"

In what point the first poster lost its racist connotation in my eyes, while the second one only gained more?
That's really odd. How is a simple painting of anyone of any race or ethnicity racist in your eyes? It's not as if any of these prints are depicting anything that perpetuates any stereotypes. They're just paintings of people.
Edited to add: If I had to be offended by perpetuation of stereotypes, I'd be most offended by the geisha image rather than any of the others.

Edited at 2009-03-14 06:33 pm (UTC)
It is obvious that the black boy poster portrays an image of a servant. The cookies are not for him, he is offering them to someone (to his master/lady perhaps?) And that, presenting him as a lower class person or even as a slave, *is* stereotyping, and *is* racist, never mind how cute the picture is.
I might agree with you if we could see who the child is serving. Since we can't, there is no evidence it is racist. Classist, perhaps, but not racist.
Then why is he dressed up as a coolie, complete with pigtails? Dressed up to serve a selection of biscuits on a tray with his eyes downcast to his Mum, perhaps? How thoughtful of him.

I don't really see the image as racist myself, but to think that the implied recipient is not a member of the German public viewing this beautifully-drawn advertisement is to be a tad disingenuous. The viewing audience was likely to be white-middle to upper-class and used to seeing little black servants as "cute". The coolie outfit imparts a flavor of the East.

In fact, wait a minute...the boy wears a coolie outfit decorated with Indian motifs. He offers a tray upon which rest several boxes of tea bags. These consist of Chinese, Indian and another type from the Cameroons. This isn't a biscuit advertisement at all it's a tea advertisement and as such is a wonderful example of presenting the mix of cultures from which this tea is drawn. I find myself standing corrected, the artist is brilliant.

Edited at 2009-03-15 04:58 pm (UTC)
I guess it could be viewed as such. But I think it was completely unconscious on the artist's part. As a child I saw Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben as comforting types. And, in a way, they were. O.K., so they were images of a slave/servant archetype, but they were also archetypes of service with a smile.

Beats the hell out of a European waiter clearly incensed that he has to serve you, believe me.
not to excuse racism, and i definitely agree the ad with the african boy had racist connotations, but those were the times. and the demographics these adverts catered to were upper class whites, so i'm not surprised.