Feed a Child SA still in the firing line over advert showing black boy as a dog

By admin
09 July 2014

Debate is still raging about the Feed a Child South Africa ad in which a black child is depicted as a dog in the home of a white woman.

Debate is still raging about the Feed a Child South Africa ad in which a black child is depicted as a dog in the home of a white woman.

The original advert:

In the advert, the boy kneels at the woman’s feet be fed and even brings her a newspaper while she is in bed. The ad ends with the statement: "Every dog eats better than millions of children."

Feed a Child defended its actions, saying it aimed to provide support for the devastating impacts caused by poverty and malnutrition in South Africa.

And in producing the advert, their main mission was to make people aware of the fact that there are thousands of children out there that they work with on a daily basis that don’t even have access to one meal per day.

"Feed a Child’s most recent television commercial is based on this shocking societal truth - many domestic animals in this country are better fed than a lot of children. The commercial is intentionally emotive to trigger the necessary awareness on this issue to generate engagement and contributions. There was no intention to cause offence."

Women And Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) are furious about the advert they labelled as being destructive. According to Miranda Jordan Friedmann, director of WMACA, the advert perpetuates the stereotype that blacks are always at the mercy of whites.

"And there are no middle class blacks who would consider supporting a feeding scheme, that all white women are wealthy, that men have nothing to say or do regarding this subject and that dogs are generally well fed, when we know thousands are put down because they are starving.

“Feed a Child talks about uplifting human dignity but what they have achieved with this ad is exactly the opposite including reinforcing stereotypes when those of us actually working with children and women on a daily basis in all communities see poverty and suffering in all the races” says Friedmann.

The ad has generated mixed reaction on social media networks.

Founder and CEO of Feed a Child, Elsa Rautenbach, has responded with a video explaining the rationale behind the advertisement. "Like a child, I don't see colour. Like a child, I don't see race or politics," she says. She asks the viewers to look passed the "perceived racial matter". Here is Elsa's video: Let us know your thoughts.  

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