Somewhere out there is an ad copywriter who keeps coming up with insulting ads about Boston neighborhoods

Boston.com reports that TD Bank has apologized for, and taken down, a street ad that makes it sound like if your debit card has been stolen, it's probably in Dorchester. The wording's very similar to that on Samsung ads a couple years ago that implied stolen phones all wind up in Mattapan.

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Sure

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Ignore the dog whistle.

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Voting closed 32

Sounds more like

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People trying to find a dog whistle. Lost != Stolen. "Lost" to me is "I left it at a bar/restaurant/store." "Stolen" is stolen.

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Dog Whistle

So TD bank wanted an ad which insinuates that your card could be easily replaced if some asshole from Dorchester stole it? Or do you think they wanted an ad which mentions the biggest neighborhood in Boston because they want to attract them as customers? I'm going with the latter.

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Dorchester customers?

If TD Bank is so interested in attracting customers from Dorchester, why don't they have any branches there?

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Dorchester Customers

I suppose it's because they hate Dorchester and wanted to insult us....Is that it?
I do my banking with a bank which has no branches.....

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Biggest by what metric?

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Certainly not the biggest in terms of their customer base. Companies do this all the time, Gucci, Burberry, etc. Defend it if you want but don't put your head in the sand.

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Voting closed 5

Why would it be lost in Dorchester of all places?

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Do you mean you left it at home? Do banks replace debit cards that are lost at home or do they replace debit cards that have been stolen? If you walked out your house without your debit card would you replace it (which takes up to a week) or simply wait until you got back home?

And last I check, Dorchester wasn't the spot for people who don't live there to go shop or eat, so again, why single out Dorchester?

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Eating in Dorchester

isn't Dorchester, more specifically Fields Corner, the go-to place for Vietnamese food around Boston?

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The implication is that

TD Bank provides such effective services for a LOST debit card that no matter how far the customer is away from their LOST card, it can be located/locked/whatever is done with lost debit cards.

Downtown is far from Dorchester, as Alewife is far from Mattapan.

Notice that Alewife is a terminal stop on the Red Line and Mattapan is a terminal stop on the high-speed line.

I mean it's ad copy and there's not too much to be read into it but...it's entirely possible that this ad was suggesting that a Dorchester resident who lost their card in Dot and then went downtown could use TD Bank debit card services to locate/lock their card.

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Voting closed 7

Gloucester is further

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So is a number of other, typically white neighborhoods. So again, why Dorchester of all places? The only time Dorchester makes the news is when someone gets shot. Is this the most egregious thing ever? Of course not. But it's a sign of the dog whistle culture people traffic in when they're too scared to show their true colors in public.

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Nah, Dorchester has "made the news"

Nah, Dorchester has "made the news" for other things (not counting the Wahlburgers):

1) First Black woman headmaster in Boston Latin School history: Dorchester native Rachel Skerritt

2) First Black police commissioner in BPD history: Dorchester native William Gross

3) Any time MSNBC host Laurence O'Donnell mentions his Dot roots (ooh, he got kicked out of Catholic Memorial!)

4) Boston's aggy-but-loveable Dorchester ass Mayor Walsh doing this or that (in those atrocious cargo shorts!)

And let's say the ad copy included Gloucester instead of Dorchester.

With the severity of drug addiction that Gloucester is dealing with...someone would still take umbrage that "TD Bank is insinuating that Gloucester is full of junkies who steal debit cards!"

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Can I ask what part of Dot

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Can I ask what part of Dot your originally from?

And don't kid yourself, Dorchester and violence are synonymous in Boston local news. And unless people think of junkies as thieves, there's no correlation to draw between the two.

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Lol ok.

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I'm from Codman Square, originally. Figured you were probably from the Savin Hill area.

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Fantastic! Codman Square is awesome.

As is Savin Hill and all of Dorchester.

I'm not flexing nuts on how much violence in the community happened around me growing up...to score "Dorchester points" on the internet, haha

Dorchester is more than the violence that is sensationalized in the local media.

It's God's country. God Herself would admit it.

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Here's something that gets me

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When I am aiming for a longish run, sometimes I head to Franklin Park, which technically is in Jamaica Plain by is right at the Dorchester line, and sometimes I head along the Neponset and follow Dorchester over to Carson Beach. On both routes, I meet the nicest people, mostly going out of their way to say "hi" to me. That don't happen along the rest of the Emerald Necklace, and aside from the dog walkers, the Esplanade has the coldest people around.

In short, Dorchester is home to the friendliest people in Boston.

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Dorchester points? Is that a thing?

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Never heard of that before but anyway. Companies, whether they realize it or not traffic in these stereotypical tropes and people of a certain ilk, choose to ignore it. That's your business. Doesn't mean there shouldn't be certain cultural sensitivity around things just because you don't understand them. It's similar to how some people look at Muslims at the airport.

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Savin Trill

Figured you were probably from the Savin Hill area.

There goes the "dog whistle" you were looking for. Because, what? Savin Hill is a super-white area?

Or do you think that I am actually Mayor Walsh or something?

I know you're really thirsty to label me a "privileged white Dorchester-raised racist" but yeah, no.

Though I'm starting to question if you are really from Dorchester. Haha, is the idea of an "opinionated Dorchester woman" really that exceptional to you?

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No I don't think that

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I lived on Maryland Street for a few years and Savin Hill was relatively diverse. I had white, Asian, and native American friends who all lived in the area. As well as black friends. But yes, Savin Hill is more white than many other parts of Dorchester. But yes, that was dog whistle, see how that works?

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Are you serious?

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Dorchester IS a dining, shopping, drinking, entertainment, and nature lover's destination, more so than it's ever been and it's becoming more popular by the day. From South Bay to Lower Mills and from Franklin Park to UMASS, we literally have something for everyone. I live here and no, I'm not offended by the TD Bank ad. If you are, you are too sensitive. If you are and don't live here, we don't need you to fight our battles, thank you very much.

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It really is possible

to lose a debit card in the largest neighborhood in the city of Boston.

Dorchester has a lot of other pressing concerns.

A corny ad trying to appeal to Dotters isn't one of them, IMO.

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Haha no it isn't

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Dorchester has plenty of for the people who live there. But it's not a go-to destination for people who don't live there. We both know that.

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Um, no we don't both know that

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I know for a fact we get plenty of people from outside of the neighborhood who take advantage of our cultural and natural attractions. It's a fact. How do I know? I talk to a lot of people. How do you know that the only people patronizing our eateries, bars, and parks are Dot residents? Seriously, what do you know that we don't know?

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Pfft, fuck a debit card..

Pfft, fuck a debit card...human beings can get lost in Dorchester.

Those cow-paths-from-1630, wacky turning streets and weird one ways.

It can take an hour to get from a somewhere in Dorchester to somewhere else in Dorchester.

I'd find this ad more insensitive if the copy said "your debit card is in Dorchester and you're in Delaware"... especially after the death of Jassy Correira.

It just wouldn't be profitable for a bank (whose name adorns the place where the Celtics and Bruins play home games) to alienate prospective customers with intentionally "insensitive" ad copy.

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Why?

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Here's one. You got on the Red Line at Harvard. When you sat down, you went to get something from your handbag. While doing that, your ATM card fell out, which you didn't notice until you got to the bank downtown. The card, meanwhile, is lying on the floor en route to Ashmont.

I would say it was insensitive to mention Dorchester, but the intentions might not have been too nefarious. Perhaps the rule of thumb is that if you want to guess where someone's lost items are, pick a place that doesn't have an unearned bad reputation, like Cambridge. Even in my theoretical, the person would have dropped the card on the platform before they got on the train.

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Or the alliteration and the

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Or the alliteration and the likely fact that the creative behind this ad has no idea about the place

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Ha I like it! But seriously,

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Ha I like it! But seriously, Dorchester is almost half of the city. And growing up here in the 80's and 90's and attending BPS, Dorchester was never a place to be defined by one race... and even less so today. There's a lot of assumptions in this accusation of racism, nevermind the precedent it sets of 'if you market a product to combat something negative that happens to us humans in our daily lives, you can't use any community-connecting attempt that involves a place that's anything less than full white'. By this measure had they used, Roxbury, Mattapan, Hyde Park... hell even J.P. or Roslindale, someone could claim it's racist, or that their town has a bad stigma and TD is sending "coded" language. That's approaching nearly all of our city.

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How is it NOT insulting?

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Clearly you must not be a minority living in dorchester. People want to move into our neighborhoods, and then talk like they live with savages. If thats how you deel, DONT LIVE IN DORCHESTER! Simple.

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ATM

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When I think of ATM scams, i only think of Eastern European/Russian guys trying to rip me off.

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Most credit card theft and

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Most credit card theft and fraud takes place in CA, AZ, TX, and FL.

Large elderly populations = the biggest targets.

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There's a lot of crap on

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There's a lot of crap on Google in general which is insulting about Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury. I thought Google was more open minded about inclusion and diversity. Embarrassing.

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Corny? Yes. Offensive? Nah.

I imagine the copy for this ad (and the Samsung ad) was drawing on how far Dorchester is from downtown.

Like, nobody complains how Denis Lehane's books make Dorchester look (I enjoy Lehane's writing, btw and I simultaneously think he's a dickhead).

Or how Johnny Depp's depictions of Whitey Bulger and Boston George glorify violence and drug trafficking.

It's an ad. Don't look at it if you don't like it.

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Voting closed 13

Somerville and Newton

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Reilly Hay and Jason Harburger, the 2 SJW's getting themselves in a lather over a completely innocuous ad are from Somerville and Newton respectively. Rich white guys who surround themselves with other rich white people virtue signaling to their peers to show how woke they are. If you are upset about the ad and don't live here, you may want to look in the mirror and confront your own biases. If you do live here and are offended, get a life snowflake. If you ever wondered why Bostonians are so bad tempered, it's because of the bad energy the perpetually offended among us are giving off.

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Jason?

I've never met any Single Jewish Women named Jason.

Oh, and what is my BINGO prize for your canned burping points screed? I have SJW, virtue signalling, snowflake, rich white guys, and woke on the diagonal!

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Voting closed 5

Jeez

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Adam, I appreciate everything you report about on this site but getting riled up about this is too much. Just like the Samsung ad, this national marketing company just picked a random spot outside of Downtown. There's nothing racist about it. I get why people would think it's racist if it were put up with the intention to say your card was stolen downtown and ended up in Dorchester because they're insinuating it's a shitty area but that is clearly NOT their intention. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out. If anything, it provides a good laugh.

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Speaking of Dennis Lehane..

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This Dotgirl is pretty tired of the "townie" novels set in Dorchester written by pasty local white guys about other pasty white guys who rob banks - or write ad copy for clueless banks.

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I loved Lehane's work on "The Wire"

and "The Drop" resulted in a film adaptation that gave us all those pictures of Tom Hardy cuddling a puppy in his coat.

But come on: pasty white guys in Dorchester do other things than commit crimes and kill each other.

Apparently, pasty ass Denis Lehane does things like use racial slurs in commencement speeches at Emerson?

Personally I'd be interested in female characters in the true crime genre; the inner world's of the gun moll girlfriends, grieving mothers, and daughters (like Christina Jung).

What was it like for the women who occupied such a hyper-macho violent world? I hope Emily Sweeney writes something about the women of (Boston) true crime.

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Missed my point

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Popular movies (think Ben Affleck) and books (think Dennis Lehane) about Boston neighborhoods overwhelmingly focus on tough white guy crime. Dorchester is so much more than that. For the record, I have ZERO interest in female characters in the "true crime genre." Or in "true crime."

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"Everyone has the same opinion" - Julian Casablancas

I didn't miss your point. How could I miss your point when its just a copycat assertion of what I already said?

You stated your opinion on portrayals of Boston in Lehane's work.

I stated my opinion of portrayals of Boston in Lehane's work.

Then I included my ****personal opinion*** that I would be interested in reading the stories of women in true crime.

Different people have different opinions. Weird but true!

EDIT: Don't like true crime stories (from Boston)? Then don't read true crime stories. It's pretty simple.

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It might have something to do

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With the fact that Dennis Lehane is a white guy who grew up in Dorchester (St. Margarets) and did a good job writing a series of crime novels set where he grew up.

As for Affleck, name one Dorchester set work he's been involved with that wasn't originally written by Lehane who, as noted above, grew up in the places his novels are set (I mean, Patrick Kedzie books, not the historical fiction he's been doing of late.)

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Simple

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The ad is in Downtown. Could it be as simple as they used another area that starts with the same letters, D-O, to make the ad sound more poetic? Ads do this all the time. And maybe someone on Twitter decided that because he associates Dorchestor with crime, it must also be racist.

If the ad was in South Boston and instead said: "When you're South Boston but your debit card's somewhere in South End," would anyone think anything of it?

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"Hey, wait a minute!"

"One of the first housing projects in the country was built in Southie!

And many charitable organizations and shelters are located in the South End!

Jeez, why so classist, TD Bank?!"

On a side note: those pink Education First ads that cover entire train cars on the MBTA are friggin disorienting and weird.

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Voting closed 3

Dear White People

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We don't get to say something isn't racist.

Sincerely,
A White Person

(And before anyone mentions reverse racism, it's not a thing, and before anyone suggest we don't discuss race, colorblind ideologies are also also racist. If you don't understand why any of these things are the case, google it.)

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Marketing

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With the rapid overall growth in bank branches across the city as a backdrop, consider whether TD’s nearterm expansion plans target Dorchester, particularly seeking to drum up business with the class of residents who have professional jobs downtown (it can be a cold science).

A public reference to your neighborhood when you’re away from home will catch your attention.

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Hey so the white people of

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Hey so the white people of DOT aren't offended by this clearly racist and or tone deaf ad. Lets hear it for our white patriarchs. What would we do without their sage wisdom???? thank you!! post hard and post often!

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Some pasty white Savin Hill native is pissed about this

“It’s an insult,” Walsh told reporters Thursday morning before the ad was removed. “A third of the city are Dorchester residents. They just insulted a third of the city. There’s nothing funny to that. And that’s nothing that I take any humor in at all. I think it’s disrespectful to Dorchester and Boston quite honestly and all the people there.”

It appears to be really insulting and I have a problem with that,” Walsh added. “I’m a Dorchester resident, I grew up and lived there. There are many people from Dorchester. I’m not sure what the mindset behind it is. But, TD Bank has questions they need to answer to me and to the City of Boston.”

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