Phone carrier Sprint pulled an ad Tuesday in which a white woman called competitor T-Mobile "ghetto," according to the Washington Post. The ad is a part of Sprint's #ListeningTour, in which Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure asks real Sprint customers for their candid opinion on Sprint's competitors. In this case, it was T-Mobile.
Claure tweeted out the ad saying, "Sometimes the truth hurts, @TMobile."
"Oh my God, the first word that came to my mind was 'ghetto,'" the female customer says. "That sounds, like, terrible. I don't know. People who have T-Mobile are just, like, why do you have T-Mobile?"
As expected, the ad did not bode well. People called it "casually racist" and "tasteless." Many others wondered how the ad even made airtime.
"Point of advice for Sprint: Having a middle-class white person describe anything as 'ghetto' is probably not a great thing for your brand," a Twitter user wrote.
Claure tweeted an apology Tuesday evening and said the video was coming down. "My job is to listen to customers," Claure tweeted. "Our point was to share customer views. Bad judgment on our part. Apologies. Taking the video down." Earlier when the backlash began, he had said the use of the word "ghetto" was "maybe not the best choice of words by the customer. Not meant to offend anyone."
The racial discussion continued to a personal level when someone called the ad "disrespectful to all of us low-middle class Latinos." To that, Claure responded, "That I won't take. I am as Latino as you are so don't try to pull that card."