- A Chicken Licken TV ad showed a South African man leaving South Africa, arriving in Holland, and "discovering" Europe
- A complainant however argued that the ad made a "mockery" of African struggles against colonialism
- The Advertising Regulatory Board agreed with the complainant and ordered Chicken Licken to stop airing the ad
The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has ordered Chicken Licken to stop airing its "reverse colonialism" TV commercial.
A complainant, Sandile Cele, approached ARB with questions regarding the suitability of the advert, TimesLIVE reports.
He argued that it makes a "mockery" of African struggles against colonialism in general and Dutch persecution in particular.
In the advert, an adventurous young man dubbed "Big Mjohnana" leaves South Africa in 1650 and overcomes great obstacles in high seas.
He eventually arrives in Holland in 1651 and thereby "discovers" Europe. The ad ends with the narrator completing the legend of Big John at a Chicken Licken outlet.
Impressed customers subsequently order the Big John burger as the narrator walks out.
The ARB agreed with Cele's concerns, Briefly.co.za learned. It ruled that colonialism in Africa was “traumatic.”
It added that colonialism “cannot be trivialised in any manner” and is “not open for humorous exploitation.”
While the ad depicts "Big Mjohnana" leaving for Europe voluntarily, the reality was that many Africans were forced to leave and often starved to death during those journeys, ARB argued.
Chicken Licken however expressed disagreement with the ruling. It argued that the ad conveys South Africa's potential to "conquer the world and rewrite history from an African perspective."
Its tongue-in-cheek sense of humour is a tone that consumers have come to expect, but its communication's underlying purpose is to create a sense of pride and patriotism amongst South Africans.
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