Tuesday, August 14, 2007

WLW has a Big Juan

Everybody knows that the place to go for tasteful classy advertising ideas is a radio ad man. They're famed the world over for their puritanical ideals. In Cincinnati some nameless ad man had an idea a simple play on words. WLW-AM "the Big One" would do a billboard as "The Big Juan." I really do beleive that it was that simple and that little thought went into it. I do nto think this was malicious, just dumb. They paid for 82 billboards, each sporting a mule, and a fat white guy with a big moustache and a sombrero. Local hispanics were pretty civil about it.

The city's local Hispanic organization LULAC requested that WLW-AM remove the incredibly classy billboards decorating Cincinatti. He, his fake mustache, sombrero, poncho and mule had to go. Comitee presidente Alfonso Cornejo, called it "a hateful campaign" that exploited a "crudely depicted ethnic stereotype." and additionally asked for a written apology.
WLW-AM acted quickly. Within a week of the letter from LULAC, the signs were gone. WLW-AM GM Chuck Frederick, apologized in writing and LULAC seemed to accept that the fandango was over responding the quick response with a letter I quote in part:
"On behalf of 20+ multicultural organizations and LULAC Cincinnati, I would like to express my gratitude for your cooperation over these past two weeks. You have responded to the concerns of our community by removing the “The Big Juan” billboards and more importantly, you have stated your desire “to be part of the solution.” A major part of becoming part of the solution is by helping improve the equal treatment of Hispanics and other ethnic groups within media. In fact, a recent study conducted by Bridges for a Just Community indicated that 64% of Hispanics believe that they are not treated equal to Whites in the media."

Well it's not the most offensive thing Clear Channel's ever put on a billboard.