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Overground Online

Chocolate, Racism and Publicity

It would be unfair to describe one of the UK’s favourite chocolate-makers as institutionally racist, but quite rational to suggest executives at Cadbury believe outrageous black characters help to sell new products.

How else can the company explain its reputation for releasing three of the most controversial advertising campaigns in recent years?

First, back in 2007, Cadbury were criticised for attempting to launch Trident chewing gum with an TV advert that featured a frenetic black boy running around London chanting ‘mastication for the nation’ in a dodgy Caribbean accent.

The commercial was eventually banned, after becoming the most complained-about advert of the year.

In 2009, the company was again accused of perpetuating negative racial stereotypes after releasing a contentious promotional video, this time featuring a giant hovering cocoa-head that sent Ghanaian villagers into a dancing frenzy.

And now, Cadbury have been forced to apologise to Naomi Campbell who says a poster for their latest chocolate bar is racially offensive.

Earlier this week, the Advertising Standards Authority rejected claims that the poster is racist; nevertheless, it’s becoming increasingly obvious the brand relishes any opportunity to push the boundaries of tolerance when publicising new products.

If this really is the case; it’s a shame because even if the company does make the smoothest, flakiest and milkiest chocolate bars in the world, their TV adverts are remarkably distasteful.


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Tags racism, race, Cadbury, Naomi Campbell, Bliss, chocolate
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