Sunday, May 4, 2014

Is This FINALLY The End of Donald Sterling's Tasteless Los Angeles Times Ads?

As the Donald Sterling/Clippers/Racism/V. Stiviano mess continues, here's one positive byproduct: Our Long National Nightmare of horrid Sterling ads in the Los Angeles Times appears to be over.

No horribly designed and self-congratulatory Sterling ad appears in today's Sunday paper, where they're normally hard to avoid. Instead, the Times digs deep into the ads and discovers what I think most of us had already figured out a long time ago: Those ads are mostly bull$#!+. Promises of grand facilities to help the homeless or poor kids are all talk. Donations aren't as big as Sterling claims. And those ads featuring a yearbook-style parade of community leaders, all seemingly supporting Sterling, are printed without those leaders' consent.

A highlight from the Times' story:

Ads bearing the name of the Sterling Foundation have heavily promoted its namesake's good works. Those in the Los Angeles Times have featured pictures of the billionaire Clippers owner and numerous recipients of his largesse, including leaders of groups that serve minorities and the underprivileged.

Some of the ads said the foundation was committed to making $10 million in donations. Others cited larger figures — $17 million, even $20 million.

The foundation's actual giving has been far more modest than the publicity suggests.

And some of Sterling's most touted projects, such as the Malibu children's camp and earlier plans for a skid row homeless center, have so far failed to materialize.

From 2009, when Sterling began funding the foundation, through the end of 2012, it gave out about $1.4 million, according to tax records.

Most were grants of $5,000 to $20,000 to dozens of community groups and schools, including Para Los NiƱos, the United Negro College Fund and the Union Rescue Mission.

Some organizations that received the foundation's money said they were grateful. But others said they became turned off by what they considered Sterling's relentless self-promotion, even before the NBA banned the Clippers owner for life last week for a recording in which a man the league said was Sterling told a female friend not to associate with black people in public.

The story doesn't address the offensive design of these terrible-looking ads. But Sterling's claims and his bad taste go hand in hand: For example, his ads touting his funding a new homeless shelter included this image of what the shelter was going to look like:

Sterling Homeless Center

(Thanks to Eric the Atwater Village Newbie a.k.a. Pedestrian Photographer for the image!) I mean, that's not only an ugly design for a building, but the drawing is all off. It would be impossible to even construct a building that looked like this. Such a half-assed design should have been the leading indicator that this was one big joke.

Previously on Franklin Avenue:

Donald Sterling Ropes Marilyn Monroe Into His Assault on Good Design (December 2013)

Donald Sterling Does It Again, Bends The Species Rules (June 2012)

Latest Sterling Ad: Too Cheap for Photo Rights? (February 2012)

Donald Sterling Expands His War Against Good Taste (December 2010)

Another Side of the Donald Sterling Ads (June 2009)

Donald Sterling's Floating Apartment Building -- And Other Photoshop Offenses (May 2009)

Donald Sterling Ads: Homeless? (August 2008)

Donald T. Sterling Discriminates Against Grammar (February 2008)

Donald T. Sterling is Looking For a Few "California-Type" Models (August 2007)

Is It Possible? Donald T. Sterling Ads, Worse Than Ever? (March 2007)

The Ugliest Newspaper Ads in the World (January 2007)

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