New from Gorton’s: Deliciosos Tits and Fishsticks! (updated)

by Bernadette Rivero on February 17, 2012 in Cultura

Screencapture from GortonEnEspanol.com

So, what if I could find tits and fish sticks all in one place? A one-stop shop for all my breast and seafood needs?

This is what’s on my mind today after Gorton’s fun website snafu. They launched a web page for Spanish-speaking Latina moms this week, and left one teeny tiny accent off a fairly important word. They turned mothers and seafood into, well, something a whole lot raunchier than what they probably intended.

My first thought, when I landed on the home page, was, “Blow jobs and seafood?”

Then I thought, nah, I had to have read that wrong. Maybe my Mexican slang abilities were slipping. So I looked at it again from a South American Spanish angle.

I consulted another Latina mom friend and showed her what Gorton’s had done. After she stopped laughing, she pointed out that where she’s from, “mamas y mariscos” could additionally translate to either “tits and gay men” or “blow jobs and gay men.”

Soy marinero

At this point, Gorton’s deliciously beer-battered fish fillets were the furthest thing from my mind. I was thinking, “I wonder if Gorton’s knew what they were getting into when they decided to go after the Latina mom market.”

I was also thinking, “I wonder if they’ve ever tried making perfectly round, C-cup-sized salmon patties.”

I know that it’s hot to jump on the market-to-Latina-moms bandwagon at the moment, but I can’t help but wonder how many culturally and linguistically fluent Latinos are actually working on these campaigns in positions of power. Were there really so few behind the scenes at Gorton’s that they let a typo that big slip through?

One single accent over the final “a” in “mamas” would have made all the difference in the mundo. Mamás = multiple moms; mamas = my mother would probably wash my mouth out with soap.

They’ve changed their mistake already, which is kind of a bummer — I enjoyed imagining a mythical shopping center where human body parts and ceviche shared shelf space — but I do hope that the next time a brand tries to target me, they pay attention to the small details that can turn an earnest catchphrase into an inadvertent punch line.

Bernadette Rivero is the president of  The Cortez Brothers, a production company and creative development hub in Los Angeles dedicated to getting Latin culture right. She is also a mom and enjoys fish sticks.

Screenshot courtesy Laura Martinez.

UPDATES:

  • Gorton’s apology is now in the Comments section below.
  • Bernadette’s response to Gorton’s apology ended up as a whole new post: Thanks for the apology but…

{ 5 comments }

Otto Yamamoto February 17, 2012 at 10:13 AM

I’ll skip the fishsticks.

omar February 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM

I always forget how to type accents. ….and that’s why I never wish my cousins in Mexico a happy birthday.

ChingaDOH! February 17, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Every year, I tend to forget to put the ñ in “Feliz año nuevo!”
(for the ñ impaired – as a result, I’m actually wishing people a “Happy New Anus.”

Mack Reed February 17, 2012 at 12:43 PM

And who wouldn’t want one of those!!

The Gorton's Seafood Crew February 18, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Dear Ms. Rivero,

You are right. That one little accent mark would have made all the difference in the mundo.

We are very sorry about the omission of that accent in the headline on our new Hispanic website. We regret the typo, we deeply regret if we have inadvertently offended anyone, but what’s most upsetting is that our valued consumers might interpret this mistake as not caring.

We want to assure you that everyone at every level of involvement cares very much about this new website, and about reaching out to Latina moms in a sincere way. Though we used a Spanish translation service, and had Spanish-speaking staff members involved throughout the project to review the site before it was launched, this typo was somehow overlooked.

The error has been fixed and we are once more reviewing the entire site to ensure accurate translation of the intended message. And while we worked quickly to fix the error, we still feel badly about it. Sometimes even when you give things your best effort mistakes still happen. But we do appreciate your comments and your perspective.

It is the Gorton’s Way to do the right thing and put its consumers first. It is also the Gorton’s Way to take responsibility for our errors, apologize sincerely, and do all we can to ensure we will do better in the future.

Sincerely,
The Gorton’s Crew

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