Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


Barcelona Wanted Us To Rally Around A Convicted Tax Cheat But We Made Fun Of Them Instead

Lionel Messi was convicted of tax fraud earlier this week and sentenced to two years in jail. He will most likely not serve any of that, as he is a first-time offender. For whatever reason, the powers that be in Barcelona's marketing department decided that, despite being an uber-wealthy, tax-dodging international superstar, Messi needs some sympathy.

Barcelona rolled out a campaign called (we are not making this up) "#WeAreAllLeoMessi," in which they asked people to send pictures of themselves in solidarity with a multi-millionaire white collar criminal.

It did not go as well as they expected, because, actually, we are not all Leo Messi. Most of us are not Leo Messi. Well, I'm not, and you're probably not either.


This is the sort of thing they were expecting from the campaign:

And this is what they got:

We are not all Leo Messi, but we are all in agreement that this campaign is dumb and tone-deaf.

As dumb campaigns go, it's not quite "removing the word 'no' from your vocabulary," but it's pretty bad. "Let's all show how sympathetic we are to a man who tried to cheat the government out of millions of dollars and got caught he deserves our sympathy because he is good at soccer" is not the genesis of an idea that is ever going to be good.

The campaign reminded me of the song "Dethharmonic" by fictional band "Dethklok," of the Adult Swim show "Metalocalypse," which decries the evils of income tax and includes the line "I'd rather you be dead than ponder parting with my second home/I'd rather you be dead than consider not opening a restaurant."

If a campaign designed to garner sympathy made me think of a fictional group of excessively wealthy rock stars, it probably didn't work.

I'll be Leo Messi if he gives me some of his millions of dollars, but not before then. 

Contact The18 Staff Writer Sam Klomhaus at or follow him on Twitter @SamKlomhaus

Videos you might like