Critics call Coke's Hispanic Heritage month campaign 'hispandering'

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- To kick off Hispanic Heritage month, Coca-Cola released an ad to celebrate the many Hispanic family names.

The ad has been playing extensively on social media and now it's getting criticism from some in the Hispanic communities who call the marketing campaign "Hispandering."

Coca-Cola made a short film to highlight a few Hispanic families and the pride they share towards their last names.

In the ad, a bright red Coca-Cola truck drives into the neighborhood handing out coke cans, each one displaying a Hispanic last name.

Hispanic groups like the online blog Latino Rebels say Coke goes too far--linking pride to a soft drink during Hispanic Heritage month.

"More and more it's turning into some extended Cinco de Mayo marketing free-for-all and people see through that," said Marce Gutierrez, of Latino Rebels.

The Coke cans used only in the ad also come with a temporary tattoo to be displayed anywhere on the body.

"I think it's stereotypical to put the neck tattoo, that type of thing," Gutierrez said.

Years ago, tattoos on the neck were associated with gang members. Coca-Cola based out of Atlanta didn't address the controversy but said, "This year's program focuses on the power of family, culture and community while bringing people together in celebration of their heritage and unique family stories.

ABC7 News went to San Francisco's Mission District to ask people to watch the ad and give their opinion.

"As a Latina there is a lot of pride like I saw in the commercial, and why not?" said Brenda Camion Padilla of San Francisco.

"An excuse, a ploy to exploit," said another San Francisco resident.

At the end of the ad, the company has a link for customers to order bottles of coke with any Hispanic last name for $5 each.

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