ASA bans ad for offensive racial stereotype (w/ African American Adman commentary)

by Daniel Farey-Jones (and yours truly),, 17 March 2010, 00:01am

LONDON - The ASA (who?) has banned a Tombola bingo (wha?) ad featuring a black man repeating in song everything a white man says, ruling that it breached the advertising code (they have a code?) on using harmful or negative stereotypes (They can do that?).

The Advertising Standards Authority (Oh, Those guys) investigated after two people (Two people! In the states it would require a troop of dedicated of Million Man March Reenactors) complained that the ad, created by Euro RSCG London, presented a negative racial stereotype.

The ad showed a white man in a dinner suit and a black man, Tito (There's only one black guy named Tito in the US), in a floral shirt, both sitting by a fire on a beach (OK so far). The black man was playing a ukelele and repeated in song everything the white man said (Benefit of the doubt here, maybe he was correcting the white guy?).

The ASA considered that the relationship between the two characters "was defined as the power of the white man over the black man" (I see where you're going with this, proceed), because of the difference in their dress and the way the black man was portrayed as less intelligent in that he repeated everything the white man said, even "Thank you, Tito" (Oh, Heeeell Nah).
The black man also seemed to look to the white man for reassurance or instruction (I caught that, I wasn't gon' say nothin'), suggesting that he lacked the confidence or intellect to behave otherwise, the ASA said. (I like these ASA guys, they should franchise?)

Tombola Bingo (some would say a slur in itself), an online business which also sponsors ITV1 soap 'Emmerdale', said it did not intend to use the ad again (would not go down like that stateside).

Clearcast, which cleared the ad for broadcast, said it believed the ad was not meant to be offensive and did not present a negative racial stereotype (That last statement, not certain, but probably a franchise in the US).

The ASA has judged a number of racism complaints in recent years, clearing a Cadbury Dairy Milk ad in November 2009, a Twinings ad [below] (This one was suspect) in March 2008 and an Orbit ad in August 2007.

In March 2007 it banned a Trident chewing gum launch ad, saying it could be seen as belittling to black or Caribbean people (That's one way to say it, you could say it was top-notched coon-f*ckery).

I wonder if this ASA is hiring?
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