I am amazed by the number of Hispanic professionals and non-Hispanic professionals that accept that Soledad O’Brien is representative of our Latino Experience in the USA. I have been wanting to blog about this specific issue for a while, but what has motivated me is the number of corporate conference and and other Industry event that have Soledad as a keynote or recipient of an award in Q4 2010. They highlight her truly unique abilities to bring forth ideas and knowledge on how to market to the US Hispanic Consumer.
Award for what? Knowledge of what?
First, last year when CNN and Soledad began their PR blitz to make her Hispanic friendly, a small group of professional (Made-Professionals that many of you respect) including myself approached her to offer our congratulations on being Hispanic and welcome her to the discussion. We spoke to her in very simple Spanish and what we encountered was a ‘deer-in-headlights’. Eyes wide-open and ‘avergonzada’ to say I don’t speak Spanish and I do not understand what you said. We just looked at each other and walked away shaking our heads.
All the hype and no Corazon de Latina. And the sale of ‘La Mentirita’ continues.
It must be that book deals are a possible goal for a Newborn Latina, more TV appearances as a Latina and/or possibly running the biggest Mentirita on us.
Second, it is nice to have a mainstream news channel like CNN cover any of our industry events or sponsor a session, since they want to show case their ‘Mentirita’. At what cost to our moral code as executives in the US Hispanic Advertising, Marketing and Media Industry do we accept his? Have Hispanic media and marketing corporate event executives stooped so low that we can only get mainstream coverage about our industry when we snuggle up to ‘La Mentirita’?
Third, her PR Team has taken her Hispanic heritage story and really worked a great PR angle to convince us that she is truly representative of our Hispanic Consumer and US.
Does it not seem a coincidence that she became a ‘Newborn Latina’ at the precise moment prior to the recording of biggest demographic shift in America with the Census 2010?
Fourth, her mother might have been Hispanic (Cuban) but her language and cultural upbringing is not even in the ball park. She admits this point but lightly.
So why are we so hungry for a ‘Role Model’ that is not about US?
Don’t we have Role Models that are more representative?
Why are the corporate events highlighting a person that is not representative of our experience and not honoring ‘Our Role Models’?
Why do we allow them?
Nothing against Soledad, she is growing her brand.
I applaud a good sales strategy when I see one.
Felicidades to CNN, the PR team and her agent.
Maybe the ones that seem like 'Deer-in-Headlights' is not Soledad, but many of you.
Pa' Mentiritas otro.