Art & Commerce: Agency of the Year or Disgrace of the Year?

It is shameful to realize that the ugly face of prejudice is still lurking in the most unexpected places. The Jan. 31 issue of Adweek features an extensive article on Crispin Porter & Bogusky (Southeast Agency of the Year).
In the story, creative director and partner Alex Bogusky makes some comments that smell of bigotry and intolerance. For instance: “Miami is such a difficult market to do anything exciting from because it’s so culturally diverse. It’s not even really part of the U.S. beyond cruise lines and tourism business, it’s akin to having a Tijuana office.”
What is Bogusky trying to imply? To me, as a Hispanic creative, his words mean:
-That to him, the fact that we live in, and create advertising for, a pluralistic society is a problem and not an opportunity.
-He is incapable of seeing unity in diversity. He can’t find those elements or “triggers” that appeal to all because of our common “humanity.”
-He considers Miami a banana republic (according to stereotype).
-He uses Tijuana as a pejorative, meaning something faraway and second-rate.
We must recognize that it takes a lot of guts to spew such politically incorrect verbiage. But I believe it must take a great deal of courage for someone to commit suicide. That’s exactly what Bogusky has done in the eyes of Miamians and U.S. Hispanics. Crispin Porter & Bogusky isn’t really the Agency of the Year, it’s the Disgrace of the Year.
Ileana Alem‡n-Rickenbach
Vice president, creative director
BVK/Meka,
Miami

Editor’s note: Alex Bogusky is unavailable for comment. An agency representative said he is in Costa Rica to judge the Andys with his Cuban wife.

More Perspective Like Debra Goldman, More R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Iwant to compliment Debra Goldman’s columns in Art & Commerce. If only our industry as a whole had Debra’s common-sense perspective, we might be respected more than lawyers. (OK, we’re probably respected more than lawyers but not by much.)
Anyway, please ask Debra to keep feeding us her uncommon wisdom.
Nathan James
Partner
Perceive, LLC, Long Beach, Calif.