Justin Bieber may be the reigning prince of pop, but that’s the only musical royalty moniker he can rightfully claim. The guy’s feature on a remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” helped propel the song to the top of the charts, but that doesn’t suddenly make him some sort of Latin King. Unless, of course, you’re the bonehead advertisers over at Spotify and you decide to plaster that very phrase on a picture of the Biebs for all your users to see.
In a misguided attempt to celebrate the success of “Despacito”, Spotify ran an ad saying, “Justin. Now Latin King.” Apparently all it takes is a feature on one No. 1 hit and suddenly you can appropriate and rule an entire culture. After the easily anticipated backlash from the Latinx community, the streaming giant pulled the advertisement.
“We made a creative decision to feature Justin Bieber in our ad because we wanted to celebrate ‘Despacito’ as key cultural moment when music genres crossover,” a spokesman told New York Daily News. “We realized that this could be seen as culturally insensitive so we have pulled those ads.”
Probably should’ve realized that before running the ads in the first place. Or, at the least, after Bieber proved so culturally ignorant that during a club performance where he admitted he didn’t know the Spanish words he instead sang, “poquito,” “Dorito,” and “burrito.” Because any word that ends in “o” is Spanish and language isn’t sacred, right?
Here’s a screen capture of the offending ad:
This is the second bit of self-inflicted PR blow Spotify has dealt themselves this week. It was revealed earlier that they’re testing out what’s essentially a new form of payola in which they would place sponsored songs into users’ playlists. We already know Spotify’s hurting for money, and this week certainly doesn’t look like it will be bringing in a ton of new users.
And because you’re curious, here’s your Latin King, everyone: