Cadbury has pulled one of its adverts from Australian television after a number of complaints prompted a watchdog to rule the ad as portraying racist stereotypes.
The advert features an Indian airline worker reading out flight information with a heavy Indian accent and becoming more and more incompressible as he goes on. In an attempt to stop him, tissue is wadded into his mouth and finally a Cadbury’s Picnic bar.
The video is alleged to be a negative depiction of Indians, portraying them in a damaging stereotypical light.
Mondelez, Cadbury’s parent company, complained to the Advertising Standards Board that the ad was intended as ‘light-hearted’ and ‘humorous.’
They responded to complaints saying the ad was designed to appeal to our customers and in no way intended to offend or insult.
“The TVC aims to bring to life in a joyful and light-hearted way, the concept of our mouth craving for certain things at certain times, and in a humorous manner, suggests we obey these cravings.”
However the majority of the Advertising Standards Board said “the depiction of the announcer as an Indian man with a strong accent, in an advertisement which highlights his inability to be understood, is presenting him in a negative way.”
A spokesperson for Cadbury has said the advert will not air in the UK.