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La Liga de Las Americas

Radio station expresses regret over Latino-related ads

Associated Press Writer

CINCINNATI (AP): A radio station said May 9, 2007, it has taken down billboards that upset Latino leaders, and it posted a statement of regret on its Web site.

Billboards for WLW-AM, Cincinnati's radio ratings leader, depicted a Mexican flag, a donkey, and a mustachioed man in a sombrero with the headline “The Big Juan.” The station calls itself “The Big One.''

``We sincerely regret any offense created by our recent billboard advertisements,'' the statement said. ``We moved quickly last week to request immediate removal by the billboard company. They are in the final stages of that process.''

WLW-AM General Manager Chuck Frederick said all billboards had been taken down. The station had no comment beyond its statement.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA had complained that the ads used stereotypes that were insensitive and offensive and demanded a written apology from the station.

Jason Riveiro, president of the League’s local chapter, said the station's statement wasn't sufficient.

It wasn't clear when the billboards, apparently timed around the Cinco de Mayo holiday, had been originally scheduled to come down.

Billboards with a “crudely depicted ethnic stereotype of a Mexican-American ... do nothing to help our city or its people,'' Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA said in a letter delivered to the station last week. ``On the contrary, they serve as a daily reminder of the offensive mindsets that cause the disgraceful acts that divide our community.''

On the Net: Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA:
http://www.hispanicchambercincinnati.com; League of United Latin American Citizens: http://www.lulac.org





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