“As anybody who frequently visits YouTube will tell you, Nando’s is famous for making controversial advertisements. Their latest installment is a spoof of Santam’s advertisement which features Sir Ben Kingsley again, this time in a bar illustrating how easy it is to overlook terms in an insurance contract. In the Nando’s version, a gentleman is standing in a bar that appears suspiciously similar to the bar in the Santam advertisement, telling viewers how easy it is to overlook items on Nando’s’ menu,” says Adre Greef, candidate attorney at law firm Adams & Adams.
This could all have been fodder for the Advertising Standards Authority. But due to some creative maneuvering on both sides they managed to avoid this. Greef explains the ins and outs of the ASA and the general principles to which all advertisements should adhere:
“The Advertising Standards Authority is a self-regulating body which was created and is paid for by the marketing communication industry. Its purpose is to ensure that its system of self-regulation works in the public interest. The Code of Advertising Standards (ASA Code) is the primary document setting out the rules and guidelines that members must follow.
“Section II of the Code sets out the general principles to which all advertisements must conform. Among other things, the ASA Code prohibits advertisers from copying an existing advertisement in a manner that is recognisable or clearly evokes the existing concept of the prior advertisement, as well as from taking advantage of another party’s advertising goodwill arising from an advertising campaign. Any person whose rights have been infringed in any of these ways can approach the ASA for certain forms of relief. If a ruling was made against an advertiser following a complaint, that advertiser must adhere to the ruling and it is the complainant’s responsibility to monitor whether or not the ruling is adhered to and carried into effect. There are time lines laid down in the ASA Code for the withdrawal of offending advertising and the time periods are dependent on the type of advertising.
“Nando’s met their match this time however. Santam, instead of engaging Nando’s in potentially costly litigation which could be even more costly to their reputation, struck back with their own advertisement. In their comeback, a Ben Kingsley lookalike appears to have just seen Nando’s’ version of their advertisement. According to him, Santam is flattered that Nando’s has copied their advertisement. They are therefore willing to overlook Nando’s’ indiscretion, and accept a truce if Nando’s is willing to accept a challenge. The challenge called on Nando’s to deliver a large order to the Johannesburg Children’s Home before 16:00 on Thursday, 26 April 2012, free of charge of course. He seemed certain that Nando’s would rise to the challenge, unless they were “chicken”, says Greef.
True to form Nando’s rose to the challenge, topping it all by not only agreeing to deliver a meal, but to provide the children from the home with a Nando’s meal once a month for a year.
“This is an example of two corporate giants who decided to come to an amicable truce rather than fighting a public war, and benefiting a very deserving group of the public in the process,” says Greef.