The Mexican government has launched a series of TV ads touting the achievements of President Enrique Peña Nieto that include a not-so-subtle plea for Mexicans to stop criticizing their embattled leader.
The TV spots, which started running this month, are intended to play up Peña Nieto’s economic reforms. In one, two carpenters react to a radio announcement about how the reforms have helped put more money in the wallets of ordinary Mexicans.
“Enough of those reforms!” says one of the workers. “What do you mean by enough?” asks the other, and then rattles off how the new energy and telecommunications reforms have helped to lower monthly bills. “So, enough with your complaints!” he adds.
Mexicans wasted little time taking to social media to mock the ad and slam the "stop your complaining" line. And the Mexican government noticed. According to Mexican news website Animal Politico, the overwhelmingly negative reaction led the government to pull the ad from its official YouTube page.
In another ad lauding the Peña Nieto administration, a man questioning the government is quickly corrected by his pro-government wife.
Juan Ignacio Zavala, a columnist for newspaper Milenio, wrote a scathing op-ed about the carpenter workers ad. “It was a clear and concise way to represent the government’s thinking: citizens are fed up because they don’t understand them, because they don’t understand the huge benefits they have granted them, because they don’t take into account the great effort of officials serving their country,” he wrote.
“Let’s admit it: the government doesn’t give a damn what citizens think,” he continued. “This spot shows how they see us. The citizenry is a factory of complaints.”
A spokesman for the Mexican government couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
Criticism of the ad lit up Twitter, prompting the hashtag #YaCholeConTusQuejas or “enough of your complaints.”
“They spent money to produce a stupid spot, and took it down in less than 12 hours. Enough of your complaints!”
“Okay, government, okay, I won’t complain anymore, I’ll assume the role of a mute Mexican and will think I live in the first world.”
“In Mexico there are 55.3 million poor people and 25 thousand disappeared, and the presidency tells us 'enough with your complaints.'”