its definitely something that would have been unacceptable here in US .And this is where I come in. Are you sure about that? Do a Google image search for Rose Wurgel blackface and see what you come up with.
Because even if no bad intentions were there, the fallout is far too great. Even if no malice was intended, the ad is extremely problematic.
And to be fair, it can be very confusing for companies outside North America to recognize what's okay and what's not. Functionally, what is so different from this model made out to be Black from the Wayans Brothers, as Alex mentions, dressing up as White chicks in the movie White Chicks? [Or, for that matter, Robert Downey Jr's character in the parody Tropic Thunder, as Left Flank mentions below.]
UPDATE 2 (June 26, 2010):
A post on the use of darkening makeup and race-bending on America's Next Top Model brings to mind some of these points all over again.
UPDATE 3.5 (March 5, 2012):
I've linked to this post several times as the issue of blackface (this time on MBC) has come to the fore again. You can read about it at Popular Gusts, Roboseyo, Eugene is Huge, Eat Your Kimchi, Expat Hell, and The Unlikely Expat.