ASA fails to protect Naomi Campbell

in

Once again the Advertising Standards Agency has shown itself to be a blunt instrument in setting standards of decency in British Advertising. Its crude judgment claimed that Cadbury’s Bliss Ad that likened Naomi Campbell to a chocolate bar  was not ‘racist’ and sought only to refer to her as a ‘Diva’.

Whilst nobody disputes Cadbury’s likened Ms Campbell to a diva, the question OBV and many Black people  argued was that, the ‘Diva’ in question was a ‘chocolate bar’ – a racial insult  used to taunt black children.This we pointed out was insensitive at best and offensive at worst, not just to Ms Campbell but to Black people in general.

With all the high powered, high salaried staff at ASA it was beyond their intellect to articulate a nuanced approach. They could, for example, have stated:

'We are not taking action in this case but we would like advertisers to avoid causing unnecessary offence even if, as in this case, it clearly wasn't intended’.

That approach would have meant no censorship against Cadbury’s  but the lesson to be more diligent made loud and clear.

Instead their crude judgment gives comfort to those who claim, ‘you had no right to raise the issue’. Well, any Black parent whose child has come home in tears because he or she has been called ‘chocolate bar’ knows different. It is demeaning and offensive.

Ironically, when the story broke in America, for most African Americans the issue was a no brainer. Crude stereotyping even by default is unacceptable. Kraft, the US based parent company quickly understood that and acted promptly - and issued an apology – to avoid offending its global customer base.

Sadly but not too unsurprisingly the ASA have missed a real opportunity of leadership; the type of leadership that doesn’t have to use the legislative stick to make a point. They could have quietly demanded that all companies are mindful about causing unnecessary offence. As Naomi Campbell suggested, that might be achieved if company Boards and senior management teams are more diverse.

Simon Woolley

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Thirteen Years of Charlatans.

"ronically, when the story broke in America, for most African Americans the issue was a no brainer. Crude stereotyping even by default is unacceptable. Kraft, the US based parent company quickly understood that and acted promptly - and issued an apology – to avoid offending its global customer base."

This is how far the United States of America has progressed on issues regarding racism. New Labour under Tony Blair, decided to take this country backwards. Some not to clever politicians don't seem to understand that history will judge them after they've either left, or have been slung out of politics; Tony Blair's case being the latter.

"Sadly but not too unsurprisingly the ASA have missed a real opportunity of leadership; the type of leadership that doesn’t have to use the legislative stick to make a point. They could have quietly demanded that all companies are mindful about causing unnecessary offence. As Naomi Campbell suggested, that might be achieved if company Boards and senior management teams are more diverse."

The government should lead the way on this. DIANE ABBOTT FOR A MORE SENIOR POSITION IN THE SHADOW CABINET! BARONESS WARSI FOR A MORE RESPECTABLE ROLE IN THE PRESENT CABINET!

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