Fast food chicken franchise Nando’s latest campaign to get SA to question xenophobia and intolerance has sparked controversy, with the SABC refusing to air one of its adverts.
The public broadcaster was to air the ad for Nando’s new meals, promoting diversity and anti-xenophobia, on Thursday night, but while viewing the footage, it pulled the plug on the ad because of its “xenophobic undertone”.
The broadcaster told Nando’s the advert violated the Electronics Communications and Transactions Act and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) code.
The video begins with a few people with bags jumping over a fence at the SA border, followed by a voice-over which asks: “You know what’s wrong with South Africa?” “It’s all you foreigners,” the voice replies.
It then shows South Africans of all races and cultures disappearing in puffs of smoke. It also shows immigrants, including Chinese, Nigerians, Indians and Europeans vanish.
The only person left, a Khoisan, says: “I’m not going anywhere. You *$@#* found us here,” then he runs off.
The video, which has gone viral on social networks, has enjoyed mostly positive support, especially on Twitter. The video has had 85 000 viewers on YouTube in two days.
Jaysen Sharpe wrote “Great advert from Nandos challenging xenophobia and intolerance”, while @thirusha reddy took a swipe at the SABC: “What a surprise, the SABC is refusing to air the Nandos diversity ad. I personally don’t see how stating facts can be viewed as offensive…”
Spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the SABC felt the ad would incite attacks on foreigners.
“For the mere fact that it has a xenophobic undertone we decided not to show it. Nando’s may say that it is trying to promote diversity but what we are concerned about is that the public might interpret it differently.
“With foreigners being attacked in South Africa, our concern is that it might re-enforce that… We are in no way interested in commercial gain over the public’s interest,” Kganyago said.