Saturday 19 June 2021

Costa Rica Politiqs: A “YouTube” Moment – Araya Team Pulls Ad With Retired Bishop and Franklin Chang

The Araya 3 minute video before it was pulled.
The Araya 3 minute video before it was pulled.

Presidential candidate Johnny Araya and the advertising agency Tribu had an embarrassing moment in a YouTube three minute ad when the images shown contained astronaut-physicist Franklin Chang and former Archbishop Hugo Barrantes with the candidate.

Neither public figure had given permission for Araya to use his face for campaign promotion. Barrantes, as a well known figure in the Catholic hierarchy must be apolitical and Chang, who heads the Costa Rican branch of the Ad Astra space company said he has yet to figure out who would get his vote.

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The video today.
The video today.

Metropolitan Curia spokesperson Alejandra Barrantes said, “Monseñor was blessing some projects and was doing so in his capacity as archbishop. This image is using him in a bad moment.” The scene is of Araya inaugurating a completed project with Barrantes in the scene.

Araya campaign chief Antonio Alvarez (Desanti) agreed that these two scene must go for a short video showing highlights of Araya’s career as San Jose mayor. “If they’re there (in the scene) then it’s an error and we must withdraw their participation.”

Alvarez also admitted that they must withdraw the image of sculptor Jorge Jimenez and evaluate use of several sports figures as well. The image of Chang is shown in a chummy moment when Araya draped his arm around Chang’s shoulder. Chang said Friday that he is a member of no political party.

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Evidently, use of the video was restricted even for news coverage. In its on line edition, La Nacion reproduced the video with its news story. But Friday evening, when one clicked on it, it showed only a large black square and the warning in white letters that “This video is private.”

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