VW pulls GTI billboards after complaints ads are offensive to Hispanics

It seems like we just got through telling you about Volkswagen’s controversial new ad Speedy Gonzales campaign geared towards Hispanic consumers, when this little gem came across the wire: the automaker is pulling billboards from three cities because of complaints about the advertisements being offensive to the same ethnicity.

Billboards for the 2006 GTI with the text “Turbo-Cojones” in Miami’s Little Havana had received objections, and VW went ahead and pulled identical signs in New York and Los Angeles. While ‘cojones’ (meaning ‘testicles’ in Spanish) has taken on a more lighthearted meaning among most English speakers (rather like “chutzpah” or “guts”), among some Spanish speakers, the connotation remains altogether more graphic.

The advertising campaign accompanying the revitalized GTI has been remarkably edgy and aggressive (tv commercials for the hot hatch seem to be on every five minutes), including the Fast and Unpimp My Auto spots.

The replacements for the CreativeOnDemand billboards? “Here today, gone tamale” and “Kick a little gracias.”

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