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An American Rant (non-Americans, feel free to skip over it)

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  • Ned Barnett
    In the course of my lifetime, America has become much more multi-cultural than it had been when I got started. This is a good thing. My mother grew up in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 18, 2012
      In the course of my lifetime, America has become much more multi-cultural
      than it had been when I got started. This is a good thing. My mother grew
      up in what was, in effect, a ghetto ("Little Italy") and, given the time in
      America's existence, it was remarkable that she broke free of that ethnic
      ghetto and was able to live out the American dream.

      Over the last 30 or so years, blended cultures have become far more common,
      and I think that's a good thing. I know in my neighborhood, which is 49%
      Hispanic according to the most recent census, I mingle every day with people
      from several cultural backgrounds. For example, I think I eat more meals at
      one local short-order place - they have the best hamburgers in Las Vegas,
      and I'm a nut for great hamburgers - even though the place is owned and
      operated by first-generation Hispanic immigrants.

      But that business, though owned by people of South American descent,
      welcomes all Americans as customers. They show this by having their signs
      in English (some with Spanish sub-titles).

      There's a way you can tell the transplanted-from-Mexico businesses which
      cater to Mexican immigrants - primarily, their signage is in Spanish only
      (but you can also tell from the way they're laid out and the way they do
      business - they are transplants from Mexico, making no effort to assimilate.
      I've got no problem with that - if people want to serve a narrow market
      niche, I think they should have the freedom to do so.

      However, where I get my chops chapped - and why I'm writing this mini-rant -
      is those businesses which want (or ought to want) American business, but
      which nonetheless have signage only in Spanish. That mixed message is
      infuriating. Companies either ought to go for a multi-cultural market or a
      Spanish-only market, but they should not try to have their cake (or, in this
      case, pie) and eat it too.

      Which brings us to the cause of my rant. For a dozen years, I've gotten all
      my delivery pizzas from the local Dominos, which to my mind has always been
      a quintessentially American business. I remember when they got started,
      they delivered their pizzas in Chevy-built "Luv" pick-up trucks, they even
      advertised "Dominos Pizzas - Delivered with Luv" .

      But now that one close to me has changed. For the past month, they've had a
      big outdoor sign (you know the kind where someone puts up the letters, one
      at a time) with some kind of advertising message, in Spanish only. As if
      those of us who do not read Spanish aren't worthy of their business. It
      infuriated me, and when my wife finally saw it last week, it infuriated her,
      too (and she's much less prone to going off on rants than am I).

      So I figured I'd do something - so I wrote to Dominos from their corporate
      website. What I got, a form-email reply thanking me for my question and my
      business, convinced me that a company once known for their customer service
      is now not at all interested in individual customers. Not online, and not
      in the front-line store, which thinks it's in Juarez or Tampico or
      Guadalajara, but obviously not in Clark County Nevada, USA. So I'm
      boycotting Dominos, and telling every man, woman and wild jackrabbit I know
      about this travesty, and encouraging them to do business with businesses
      which either promote themselves in English, or in Spanish and English
      together, but not those which only promote themselves in Spanish. They're
      welcome to those customers - as I said, in my zip code, that's 49% of the
      population, but they should stop pretending that they're American businesses
      catering to those of us Americans who never bothered to learn Spanish.


      PS - I grew up near Canada, so was taught French as a second language . I
      have no issue at all with second languages, and think kids ought to be
      exposed to something other than English, but that's a world of difference
      from those businesses embracing a "Spanish-only" customer model.

      Ned Barnett, APR

      Marketing & PR Fellow, American Hospital Association

      Barnett Marketing Communications

      420 N. Nellis Blvd., A3-276 - Las Vegas NV 89110

      702-561-1167 - cell/text

      <http://www.barnettmarcom.com> www.barnettmarcom.com - twitter @nedbarnett


      05-6-16 BMC Logo

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