Thursday, June 26, 2008

¡No hablo español!

Can some marketing guru out there please answer this question for me? This is making me CRAZY, and I don't know why it's ok that this is happening.

Three times this week, I have received advertisements written entirely in Spanish. Once each from Time Warner Cable, Direct TV, and Disney. When I say entirely, I mean ENTIRELY - not a single English word appeared on any of the pieces. Even the number that Direct TV had on its flyer was answered by a Spanish speaker, and when I asked to speak to someone in English, he hung up on me. When I called back, it happened again.

My last name may be Garcia, but I married into it. My maiden name is Fenley, and I have blue eyes and freckles and don't speak a lick of Spanish. I live in Texas, not Mexico.

For some reason, the folks pulling the trigger on these marketing messages seem to think it's ok to send someone with an hispanic surname something written entirely in Spanish.

To me, this is the marketing equivalent of racial profiling. It's offensive to me. And it's a waste of their marketing dollars and my time.

Don't get me wrong - my mother in law speaks very little English, and I don't have a problem with materials being directed at what is becoming a ginormous demographic in Texas, and elsewhere in the US.

What I do resent is the total waste that this is creating. Anything you mail me that's written all in Spanish goes right into the recycle bin. What a shame for you that the product or service you're trying to sell me may be perfect for me, but I'll never know, because you wasted precious resources, postage, and my time sending me something that I cannot possibly read.

Everyone, from grocery stores to the government, is now taking steps to be sure our hispanic population can get by here in the land of English. It takes time and money for these folks to print their materials in both languages, so I don't think it's unfair to ask that folks marketing to me make the same effort.

I'm in sales, but I never took any marketing classes in college, so it may be that I just don't get it. I'd love an opinion from your side.....

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