NGO apologises for 'racist' child ad

2014-07-09 09:11
A screengrab from the Feed a Child ad. (YouTube)

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

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Johannesburg - Feed A Child SA has apologised after its advertisement, meant to raise awareness about starving children, drew heavy criticism.

"We apologise for the advertisement. It was not intended to cause harm to anyone," chief executive Elza Rautenbach told Sapa on Wednesday.

The advert which was aired on television, showed a white woman having a meal and feeding a black child who is kneeling on the floor.

The child is fed as if he was a dog.

Many people expressed their outrage via social media at the ad over the way the black child was portrayed in the advertisement. Many called for Feed A Child SA to apologise and withdraw it.

Rautenbach said Feed A Child SA would still retain its relationship with the advertising agency, Ogilvy and Mather Cape Town, which produced the advertisement.

"They are a good agency, we have started working with them only recently."

The ad, however, has been removed from YouTube.

It would continue with its work of feeding hungry children.

Rautenbach said: "We are moving on, and continuing to do our day to day work, raise funds and feed our younger generation."

According to the organisation's website, one in 10 children suffers from severe malnutrition and dies within the first 12 months of life.

More than one in five are physically underdeveloped due to malnutrition.
- SAPA
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