Despite notification that its new ad campaign would be banned from a number of major radio networks, including NPR, Pizza Patrón will move forward with the concept "as created," the company said in a news release.
Company officials released the following statement about the decision: "We have been here before. The unique cultural insight-inherent in many of our campaigns continue to provoke a deluge of varying opinions. Our goal is simple — to connect with and serve our customers better."
The Spanish language ads, created to promote the new LTO pizza "La Ch!#gona," include the term "chingón," in asking customers if they have what it takes to try the product. Chingón is considered by many to be street slang in Mexico.
"No one will run our ads as recorded, even the networks willing to air the spots are 'bleeping' us," Andrew Gamm, brand director for Pizza Patrón, said in the release. "When the Real Academia Española, the world's foremost authority on the Spanish language, defines 'chingón' as a very positive characteristic, it makes us feel confident in our position and in our decision to move forward without apology."
Aldo Quevedo, principal/creative director for Richards/Lerma, which created the campaign, said the outcry over the ad has been "shocking."
"In Mexico, people make fun of everything: pop culture, international events and even catastrophes. We are used to it and nobody really gets offended. We have thicker skin and there's a reason for that. That's why it's more shocking to me that the name is being censored here in the U.S.," he said. "I understand that the name of the product could be controversial. But really, after you try it you will understand that it's the best descriptor. To me, it's the only name that fits: La Ch!#gona."