Coors Light Pulls "Emboricuate" Ad After Fierce Criticism From Puerto Rican Community
MillerCoors decided to pull its "Emborícuate" ad Thursday in a swift response to a torrent of negative criticism – circulated primarily through social media – from the Puerto Rican community.
The beer company, after initially defending the marketing initiative Thursday morning, is discontinuing the ads.
"In a joint decision with the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, we have decided to voluntarily discontinue the 'Emborícuate' Coors Light Puerto Rican Day Parade advertising campaign," the company said in a statement.
The colorful ads, posted throughout New York City at bus stop and train stations, display the word "Emborícuate" under images of three beer bottles. Another ad shows an image of a man, wearing a shirt emblazoned with the Puerto Rican flag, leading endless followers, who together form an image of the island's colors.
It had been running for three years without drawing any controversy. It was only this week that it blew up on Twitter and, eventually, got the attention of a few media outlets.
"I am personally thrilled that people in the Puerto Rican community in New York City spoke up," said Julio Ricardo Varela, a social media influencer and founder of Latinorebels.com, which launched an online petition against the campaign. "It goes to prove that social media is a very effective tool to spread a message, and that you don't need large numbers to impact change."
MillerCoors said it will continue to partner with the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, which it has sponsored since 2009.
"Our goal...has always been to support the Puerto Rican community and the 'Emborícuate' campaign was developed to celebrate Puerto Rican pride," the statement read. "While the campaign has garnered support and criticisms in the community, it was never our intent to offend anyone and we felt it important to remove the ads to not further detract from the celebration of the Parade."
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade is June 12 in Manhattan.
The company's decision to pull the ad was praised by the Puerto Rican activists who had railed against the campaign.
"I'm ecstatic," said Caridad "La Bruja" De La Luz, a poet and the parade's Madrina Juvenil, or its godmother of New York youth. "It does speak to the power that we have.
"We've been sleeping so long on our power," she added. "I feel like there's a change in the air."
Before the news broke, the conversation on social media platforms centered on how shortsighted the campaign was and what a mistake it was in the first place.
“Why Coors thought emboricuate was a good idea I have no clue,” tweeted @Alicia4181, who identifies herself a Mexican-American public relations professional from Los Angeles. “Major fail and offensive to all Latinos,” she wrote.
Before the decision was made, Tato "Brujo" Torres, a Puerto Rico-based musician who has tweeted against the marketing all week, guaranteed that Coors Light would realize the error of their ways.
“Mark my words, I predict that @Coors_Light will officially announce they will remove the emboricuate for the @PRParadeNYC ads today!” he declared.
After MillerCoors released their statement, the Latino Rebels who posted the initial petition celebrated over the removal of the ad: “Coors is pulling down the EMBORÍCUATE ad!!! Who says you can't impact change?”
And others kept their reaction short and sweet.
“Boom!" Liza Sabater, @blogdiva, tweeted. "We did it."
Contact Wil Cruz at Wil.Cruz@foxnewslatino.com.
Contact Adrian Carrasquillo at Adrian.Carrasquillo@foxnewslatino.com or on Twitter @RealAdrianC.
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