South African digital satellite TV service DStv has joined the country’s national broadcaster, the SABC, in refusing to air a Nando’s ad on the grounds that it could inflame xenophobia.
According to the Citizen newspaper, DStv Media Sales CEO Chris Hitchings confirmed that the broadcaster had “suspended flighting of the ad. Per our terms and conditions we have the right not to broadcast any material that we believe may be offensive to viewers.”
In the advert, a narrator says, “you know what’s wrong with South Africa? All you foreigners”. Various population groups from Zimbabweans, and Nigerians, to Indians and Chinese are shown disappearing in puffs of smoke. Eventually Afrikaners, Zulus, and various other language groupings are shown disappearing until only a Khoi San man is left who says: “I’m not going anywhere. You @&*$# found us here.”
Hitchings said that DStv believed that the advert contravened the guidelines set out by the Advertising Standards Authority, which regulates the country’s ad industry.
Although the ad has been viewed nearly 200 000 times online, Nando’s says it still wanted to flight on TV in order to deliver it to a wide audience.
“It’s a positive message about celebrating diversity and embracing who we are. People however have looked at the first five seconds of the ad and neglected the next 45,” Nando’s spokesman Mbali Ndlovu-Taoana said.
Here’s the ad once again. If a whole lot of geeks suddenly start rioting in the streets, then we’ll know that the SABC and DStv’s fears are founded.
Update: South Africa’s second free-to-air broadcaster etv has joined the bandwagon and is also refusing to air the ad. According to Moneyweb, Monde Twala the broadcaster’s head of channels is quoted as saying “etv decided last night to suspend the airing of the Nando’s xenophobia advertisement. etv respects creativity and the channel has previously flighted advertisements that have been rejected by other broadcasters.”