Laura N. sent in this photo a friend of hers took of a Verizon advertisement in the Las Vegas airport, in which we are told Verizon provides “coverage in Spain. And more than 220 other countries.” See anything…odd?


Her friend, who is from Spain, couldn’t help but notice that the ad represents Spain with images of (stereotypical) Mexican culture.

I studied in Spain for a semester as an undergrad, and only once did I see a mariachi band: when I ate at a Mexican restaurant. That was also the only time I saw flour tortillas or refried beans.

Laura suggests the ad illustrates the tendency for many people in the U.S. to conflate anything described as “Spanish,” “Hispanic,” etc., as “Mexican,” thinking that the cultural practices they associate with Mexico represent the cultures of all Spanish-speaking countries. Presumably either the Verizon team didn’t notice the problem, or didn’t think many other people would notice or care.

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