Company withdraws Zuma fish and chips ad

2012-11-28 15:17

An advertisement which depicted President Jacob Zuma, his wives and children eating a take-away meal has been voluntarily withdrawn, said Taste Holdings, which owns The Fish and Chips Company.

CEO Carlo Gonzaga said in a statement that while the company disagreed with the SABC’s objections to the animated advert, it had “no intention to force the issue”.

“Even though public response to our advert has been more than favourable and no official complaint has been lodged to date ... we have decided to stop broadcasting the advert on all television channels.”

The SABC said yesterday that it had decided not to flight it on Monday because it implied a presidential endorsement of the product.

Spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the advert had also not been submitted to the SABC in time for it to examine the quality and other technical aspects.

Gonzaga said the advert did not intend to portray the fish and chips as having a presidential endorsement, but was meant to convey the product as being good value for money.

“Although we are of the opinion that no reasonable person would conclude that the president would actually endorse our (or any) brand. Our offer to donate R100 000 ... to President Zuma’s charity of choice still stands.”

The animated commercial begins with the words “Dinner time at Nkandla” appearing over a picture of a mansion.

Next, a woman seated at one end of an extremely long dining room table lined with children and several women, says in isiZulu: “Oh Zuzulicious, we’re having fish and chips from Shabba today.”

He responds: “Eat up honey bunch, there is a lot of good food here. It’s from the Fish and Chip Company. There are many of you in this house. At only R25 even Pravin will approve.”

The Freedom of Expression Institute raised concern earlier that the SABC’s decision not to air the commercial could constitute censorship.

- Sapa

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