Feed a Child SA pulls plug on controversial ad

2014-07-10 21:37
A screengrab from the Feed a Child ad. (YouTube)

A screengrab from the Feed a Child ad. (YouTube)

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Johannesburg - No further action will be taken against Feed a Child SA after it withdrew its controversial advertisement, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said on Thursday.

Spokesperson Mpumi Mda said they had considered what action to take after receiving the relevant documentation from Feed A Child SA and several complainants.

She said Feed a Child SA apologised for the advert, pulled it from television channels and its YouTube channel, and uploaded a video of its CEO apologising and contextualising the commercial's intention.

"The directorate is therefore satisfied that the voluntary removal of the commercial and the accompanying apologies are adequate under the circumstances, and that no formal consideration of the merits of the matter is needed," Mda said.

The advert, which was intended to raise awareness about starving children, caused outrage on social media over the way the black child was portrayed as a dog.

It shows a white woman watching television while a young black boy lies on her lap. She feeds him some of the popcorn she is eating.

In the next scene, the woman lies in bed and the boy brings her a newspaper. He is rewarded with a portion of her breakfast.

In another scene, the woman is in a kitchen icing a cake while the boy watches. She holds out her finger for him to lick the icing.

The woman has tea and the boy comes and sits by her feet. She hands him a piece of the cake she is eating.

In the final scene, the woman has dinner and the boy peeks out from under the table. She gives a small piece of food to him.

The advert ends with the words: "The average domestic dog eats better than millions of children," and calls for R20 donations.

ASA ordered Feed a Child SA to never broadcast the advert again.

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