TD Bank Apologizes After Ad Called Out for Racism

"If you know Boston stereotypes, you know that lost in Dorchester is code for stolen."

TD Bank has apologized after an ad in one of its Boston branches was called out on social media for having racist undertones as the city's mayor expressed his outrage.

"We are sorry that an ad that appeared in one of our stores was insensitive to the Dorchester community," TD Bank said in a statement. The company added that the ad in its Back Bay location has since been removed and that it "does not reflect our core values around diversity and inclusion."

A photo of the ad, which read "When you're Downtown, but your debit card's somewhere in Dorchester," was tweeted by Reilly Hay on Wednesday and quickly sparked controversy.

Local

In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.

Meet the New NBC10Boston.com

Light Snow Arrives Today, Warm Up on the Way

In a Twitter thread, Hay said he was at the bank to close his account when he saw the ad.

"If you know Boston stereotypes, you know that lost in Dorchester is code for stolen. Which sucks, because to get stolen from Dorchester you need to go through the concepts of low-income and, most importantly, black and brown," he wrote.

"This works for the ad because they don't say that explicitly, they just know that most people socialized in the US will make that leap without even knowing it," he added.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also said he was upset by the advertisement, telling NBC10 Boston he wanted to take the bank to task over the implication.

"It's an insult," the Dorchester resident said. "I think it's disrespectful to Dorchester and Boston, quite honestly, and to all the people there."

According to the bank's website, TD Bank does not have a branch in Dorchester, which is Boston's largest neighborhood.

Back in 2017, ads for Samsung's Knox cellphone security feature were removed after complaints they were racially insensitive. The ads at MBTA's South Station said, "We'll keep your work stuff safe if you go to Alewife and your phone goes to Mattapan."

Contact Us