Sunday, July 13, 2014

South African Feed A Child Charity Releases Apology for Racist Ad

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The South African Children’s Charity, Feed A Child, has apologised for the TV Ad where a white woman feeds a black boy as if he were a dog.

The controversial advertisement shows an affluent white woman feeding a black child like a dog, making the point many domestic animals in South Africa are better fed than many children.

The advert begins with the boy lying across the woman's lap while she hand feeds him popcorn.

It then moves on to the bedroom where the boy is seen handing her the paper after which she rewards him with a nibble of her breakfast.

It ends with the woman at her dining table feeding the boy a pinch of her meal while he sits at her feet, before the tagline "the average domestic dog eats better than millions of children" appears on screen.

The agency behind the ad, Ogilvy and Mather, confirmed the ad had been withdrawn after it was met with a storm of controversy.

Many criticised the ad as racist and in poor taste, while others defended it saying the was commercial simply "pointing out the injustice of starving children."

The advert has since been removed from YouTube and the South African Advertising Standards Agency has pulled the campaign from national television.

Feed A Child has released an apology on their website saying they acknowledged the advert could be seen as distasteful and insensitive but that was not their intention.

"Unfortunately the core message of the commercial became diluted or even lost through the interpretation thereof," the statement reads.

"The core message of the commercial was to draw attention to the extremely important issue of malnutrition and raise awareness of the plight of many children in South Africa who go to bed hungry."

Alza Rautenbach, Feed a Child's founder and spokesman, told South Africa's Times it was "unfortunate" that what the charity had intended to be a strong statement against a social ill had turned into "a racial issue".

"What if this advert changed a child's life? What if this advert changed 3.5 million children's lives? What if this was your child going to bed hungry tonight, and this advert can change that? The child was a character that the agency used. It wasn't chosen for any specific reason – and yes, the idea was to use multiracial people, just as our country is. It doesn't help to have an advert that is not representative."

: The Telegraph 

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