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yep, this is offensive (duh, water is wet too).....i'm sure texaco was just being 'patriotic' at the 'offensive' tag!

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During WWII, people saw the leaders of the Axis powers, particularly Hirohito and the Japanese, as truly evil individuals. My family used to send records to my uncle in Pearl Harbor. Someone made a tape of one such record, and every last person (including my mother, who was about nine when the war started) would end whatever they said with "slap the Japs!" There was a little grocery store back in the old neighborhood that had all kinds of non-perishable stuff that never sold but they didn't take off the shelf. One of the items (had to have been from the '40's) was a dartboard: the standard game on one side, and a nasty yellow caricature of Hirohito running away on the other, with the bullseye right in the center of his right buttock, under a legend that said "SET THE SUN!"

None of this is meant to excuse the animosity shown to the Japanese, merely to point out that the world was a much different place eighty years ago. Seen through that lens, this is a pretty classic ad. I'd be interested to know whether Texaco did similar ads featuring Mussolini and Hitler.