Hacienda, a local chain of Mexican restaurants based in Indiana, is no stranger to controversial billboards.
In 2006, customers were unhappy with their billboard asking customers to "take home a little Mexican" next to an image of a man in a sombrero; in 2011, it took down billboards referencing the Jonestown massacre. Now it's 2016, and lo and behold, Hacienda once again finds itself at the center of a roadside advertisement brouhaha for this tasteful bit:
The billboard read, "The Best Mexican Food This Side Of The Wall," an apparent reference to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's foreign policy plan to "build a wall" on the border of Mexico with a "beautiful, big door."
After a period of criticism, all 26 of the billboards spread around the state of Indiana were taken down on Tuesday, the Elkhart Truth reported.
"I'm not a believer in all publicity is good publicity," Jeff Leslie, executive vice president of Hacienda, told the Truth. "This is not accomplishing what we wanted to accomplish. We made a mistake with these boards."
Sam Centallas, the executive director of Latino youth outreach program La Casa De Amistad, is unsatisfied with Leslie's apology, according to CBS South Bend:
But, Centellas says this issue is about more than just offensive advertising. He says service industries have a higher percentage of Latino workers than other employers.
"What I'd love to hear is how do their employees feel and how are they treated in a culture that regularly puts out pretty offensive advertising related to the Latino culture?" says Centellas.
Some on social media concurred with Centallas, finding the ad offensive:
Others, however, found the situation amusing:
Centallas originally drew attention to the issue with a post on his Facebook page on Sunday with a caption that read, "Really disappointed #Hacienda continues to push past what is acceptable for advertising. Not a fan of most of their billboards but this is just too much #TakeItDown."
In the comments of his Facebook post, Centallas defended his position, writing, "Google how many countries have border walls… Nearly all are countries at war (Palestine/Israel for example), or like bad neighbors who instead of solving problems build a fence. It's insulting and immature. Using it in advertising as a joke feeds the insult."
Hacidena did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.