Yesterday, we reported on a week-old ad from Spotify that was showing up as a sponsored post in social feeds. The ad read: “Justin Bieber. Now Latin King.” Yikes. Surely, it was an attempt to honor his recent remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” but the erasure of the original Latinx artists was rather alarming. Bieber is a White Canadian who has already publicly flubbed and mocked the Spanish lyrics to the track — not totally a great person to anoint as king of a culture he’s taking a pop song vacation in.
Luckily, it seems like the streaming service has come to their senses, and publicly announced that they pulled the ad to The New York Daily News today. Here’s what a Spotify spokesperson told the paper:
“We made a creative decision to feature Justin Bieber in our ad because we wanted to celebrate ‘Despacito’ as key cultural moment when music genres crossover. We realized that this could be seen as culturally insensitive so we have pulled those ads. ”
So… you wanted to celebrate when white people noticed a Spanish language song, basically? Do you know how controversies like this could be avoided? By diversifying your own staff. I am willing to be money there was not a single Latinx person consulted on whether or not the ad was offensive or celebratory. I’m glad the company pulled it down, but just saying, it’s a pretty easy fix to diversify creative teams and avoid looking foolish in the future. Or, like I mentioned yesterday, highlight the song’s original creators! Anyway, glad they came to their senses.