In light of a recent media statement made by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) regarding their decision to not air a television advert created by The Fish & Chip Co on the evening of 26 November 2012, the company wishes to respond.
The commercial in question is a cartoon that was created by popular South African cartoonist Mdu Ntuli, and was commissioned by The Fish & Chip Co’s creative agency, MetropolitanRepublic Group. The SABC today claimed that they never flighted the advert as it was received late, and that the broadcaster requires the material five days prior to flighting.
The statement issued is incorrect, as The Fish & Chip Co’s creative agency made arrangements with the SABC to deliver the material late on Friday afternoon, 23 November at 2pm, so that it could broadcast the commercial on Monday evening as agreed by the broadcaster. By 4pm on Monday afternoon, various SABC executives informed the creative and media agencies telephonically and via SMS that the advert had been withdrawn “as it was considered too controversial”. To date, no formal communication to this affect has been received by The Fish & Chip Co, Taste Holdings, their media agency, Initiative Media or their creative agency, MetropolitanRepublic.
The SABC’s media statement issued this afternoon, notes that the broadcaster believes that the advert implies [President Zuma’s] endorsement of the product sold by The Fish & Chip Co. This means the broadcaster does not find it offensive but will nonetheless not flight the advert.
Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste Holdings states, “It is our opinion that no reasonable person would conclude that the President of the country is endorsing a product in that: a) The ad is a parody and done in a cartoon style; b) The President never endorses products or brands; c) The ad is clearly over the top in its execution and humour.
“However, we do not wish to get involved in a legal debate about the advert, and we accept the position of the SABC to not flight the commercial. However, if President Zuma objects to the use of his image on other channels, we will offer to donate R100 000 to a charity of the President’s choice.”
The Fish & Chip Co concludes that the intention of this advert was to communicate their brand in a clever, different and unique way, by going the animation route.
“We ultimately wanted to demonstrate that our product provides a great value proposition, with South Africans from all income levels, including the President and his family, being able to afford meals from The Fish & Chip Co.
“Importantly, the advert highlights that even if consumers’ belts need to be tightened due to difficult economic conditions, that our meals offerings provide great value for money, even for larger families such as President Zuma’s,” concludes Gonzaga.
Should the SABC have banned the Fish and Chip company advert that should have been aired last night?
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