SA TV too chicken for Nando's - critics

2012-06-06 08:53
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – Following the news of broadcasters banning the latest Nando's TV commercial, critics and experts are weighing in and calling South Africa's broadcasters too chicken for Nando's.

South Africa's broadcasters are running scared of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Nando's latest anti-xenophobia commercial. The advert stars the Khoisan and other ethnic groups who've found a home in South Africa.

The SABC refused to air Nando's new "Diversity" advert on Friday on SABC2.

MultiChoice's DStv channels, M-Net and did show the Nando's ad over the weekend. It promotes new products added to Nando’s already diverse menu, coupled with a tongue-in-cheek anti-xenophobia message.

On Tuesday however MultiChoice and M-Net's ad sales division, DStv Media Sales, decided to ban the advertisement as well. followed suit and said the ad will no longer be shown, labelling the Nando's commercial as something that is "trivialising xenophobia".

Too chicken

While Nando's continues to bask in its own provocative "United Colors of Benetton" edgy advertising moment, experts are criticising South Africa's broadcasters for being shortsighted.

"It gives Nando's an edge on the advertising scene," said Tashi Tagg, noted South African TV critic, pop culture expert and founder of TVSA.

"It gives them loads of free advertising and buzz – everyone's talking about them. Their ad is doing well on the internet and they don't have to pay broadcasters to flight it. So it's ultimately Nando's who is winning.

"It also gives Nando's loads of fodder for future campaigns. They can run with the copy: 'Nando’s – so spicy  the broadcasters are too chicken to air our ads," she said.

Advert that raises a serious issue

"I really am quite surprised by the decision," said William Bird, the director of Media Monitoring Africa (MMA).

"Obviously they are within their rights to say no, but the question is why? It seems a rather unusual step to take, to avoid controversy, all the more so given that it has already gone viral on social media.

"Given the issues of xenophobia that we have, I think even if it is an advert that seems to raise a serious issue in its effort to sell us chicken we should err on the side of airing. If it is able to get people to talk about xenophobia, even better," said Bird.


"I find the suggestion that it is being withheld as it may offend some viewers simply ridiculous for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is clearly a spoof of xenophobic logic taken to extremes with people literally being "proofed" away.

"Sure it doesn't deal with the nuances of colonialism and land grabs and other questions of identity. But then it is an advert for chicken – not a documentary on xenophobia and identity.

"Secondly to suggest it isn't being shown as it may offend, undermines the media's role - especially the public broadcaster to challenge their audiences," said Bird.

Spear hangover?

"Thirdly however, and perhaps most obviously, there are far more adverts that actually do offend viewers that they allow to run - some so bad they offend your intellectual sensibilities, while others plainly reinforce racial and sexual stereotypes.

"So the question remains as to why to avoid controversy? Is it perhaps a hangover of The Spear debate? Either way, one thing which the broadcasters' decision to not broadcast the ad will do, will be to ensure even more people know about it and want to see it," he said.

Watch the Nando's Diversity ad here.


  • Jane - 2012-06-06 09:09

    I think the ad is brilliant and has a social message at the same time. South Africans are too sensitive and find everything racist or offensive and for that reason will never be on par with the advertising industries in America and the UK. I know a few people in the industry whom have relocated overseas because they feel there is much more creative license abroad.

      Charles-Bronson - 2012-06-06 09:20

      I agree they all are chicken.. great ad.. can't handle the true. We all was not here first???

      seymour.howe - 2012-06-06 09:34

      The advert is clever, not at all insensitive, and topically placed in a country where race is used as an excuse for everything that goes wrong. The worrying thing is the Broadcasters who are now using the ASA as an excuse to excercise their own form of censorship on freedom of expression and speech. Sad times for constitutional rights in SA and even worse to come!

      mlucejko - 2012-06-06 09:49

      I thought the advert was very amusing !! This must be the first time and advert has been banned for being "Amusing and Truthful"!! The ANC are busy trying to 'brainwash' everyone into thinking that the African People were here first, but the truth is it was the 'Koisan People'

      Ngwana - 2012-06-06 10:44

      They just had to leave. Quite sure they are not South Africans

      NrGx - 2012-06-06 11:29

      the ad is brilliant, its what i call thinking outside the (kfc)box! - 2012-06-11 17:14

      khoisan or khoi khoi are the first inhibitors of SA! Guess who said that...White Man! and the thoery is.. the white man first met the khoisan...therefore the khoisans are the first SA inhabitors, brillant! Christopher Colombus discovered america! I guess Zulus, Xhosas, Swazis etc came to south africa after europeans o0r Jan Van Reebek's set their foot.

      MissXhosa Xhosa - 2014-09-05 13:25

      Good for them. South Africa is my home and I'm not going anywhere. The ANC won't be in power forever. Other black people will eventually come to their sense and see these beasts for what they truly are. And to the whites who ran away from trouble, wonder what your South African ancestors are saying now? They fought my people to call SA home and you're just going to leave like that, cowards....

  • TheSuperC - 2012-06-06 09:15

    I think the advert is brilliant and not in poor taste. The SABC and its management are a bunch of clowns.

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-06-10 16:38

      Well done to Nando's for a really clever and topical ad. Unfortunately the truth hurts - not so? It's time that people realised that the Khoisa were here first and were decimated by the black tribes coming down south and the white settlers coming from the south with them caught in the middle. Fantastic little people who lived WITH nature and didn't destroy it as is happening today. - 2012-06-11 17:15

      khoisan or khoi khoi are the first inhibitors of SA! Guess who said that...White Man! and the thoery is.. the white man first met the khoisan...therefore the khoisans are the first SA inhabitors, brillant! Christopher Colombus discovered america! I guess Zulus, Xhosas, Swazis etc came to south africa after europeans o0r Jan Van Reebek's set their foot.

  • Dennis - 2012-06-06 09:19

    As soon as the ANC discovered that the Khoisan were infact the first inhabitants of this country, everything not featuring the ANC gets BANNED !!

      Ngwana - 2012-06-06 10:16

      Are you sure the Khoisan are the first inhabitants of this country. The first people the Europeans met were the Hottentots. They were not the only Africans in the South then. Who actually classified them as Hottentots. The Khoisan were mostly in the Northern Cape.

      NrGx - 2012-06-06 11:30

      Ngwana - your comment goes to show that the advert could actually TEACH you something! Do some PROPER research before making up your stories!

      John - 2012-06-06 11:36

      @Ngwana. Are you another example of EC Education? Here is a quick history and fact lesson for you regarding Hottentots. Read it if you can.

  • Eddy - 2012-06-06 09:24

    Thinus i think you mean poofed away not - " literally being "proofed" away."

  • tshep0 - 2012-06-06 09:26

    An IDIOT just had to find space to put politics in any issue we have in SA.-smh- get a rope and a find a tree....

      Sagin - 2012-06-06 09:46

      How is this not political? You are such a fool. You have eyes yet you cannot see. ears and you cannot hear. Tshepo go back to work and stop making an ass of yourself.

  • Sagin - 2012-06-06 09:31

    freedom of speech is an illusion in this country, like many other aspects of s.a life. Who among You can see the truth written over and over again with the blood of the innocents. Too far down the slippery slope, too late to fix it.

  • Mthenjwa - 2012-06-06 09:55

    The thing it make ppl realise that only khoisan are real south african the rest of us we are foreigners we just stole sum ppl country nyc

      Ngwana - 2012-06-06 10:38

      You are so wrong

      Nigel - 2012-06-06 14:27

      No he's right, its fact, read & you find the truth, you have internet, it shouldn't be too hard

  • Khetha Hlophe - 2012-06-06 10:24

    I felt good when seeing some vanish n replaced by smoke but thought it would be boring if there are no people hating Me. I said I am going nowhere also.

  • RychBrown - 2012-06-06 10:29

    I think the ad is brilliant(Everybody ought to be offended)... William Bird commenting on Nandos (that sells chicken) lol... Irony! We hear endless moans about the South African skills shortage and brain drain and yet we have all this censorship and restriction...

  • Tiro - 2012-06-06 10:29

    the first line was read in isolation, the ad is brilliant piece of work. Creative thinking was excercised perfectly. Nthonas

  • onapajo.alooma - 2012-06-06 10:32

    i believe the ad is of no actual importance,they could have use other ideas in depicting their chicken but the concept of this one is poorly manage even the way nigerians are presented in it as the Mafian,i think it's deplorable.\r\nThey actually need to ban it,it's xenophobic and rediculous

      richard.hipkin - 2012-06-06 12:35

      Ah I guess you Nigerian then?

      Bones - 2012-06-06 16:15

      A nigerian with a surname like Alooma? Never! lol

  • Jackie - 2012-06-06 10:42

    As I said before love the ad .....they are to chicken to broadcast it!

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-06-06 11:42

    Brilliant add had a good laugh and then downloaded it to send it to friends overseas.

  • Bernadette - 2012-06-06 11:50

    This is Brilliant......Luv the Ad :+) well done Nando's!!1..... keep them rolling LOL

  • sadrick.lottering - 2012-06-06 12:27

    The ad is insensitive to the past, our past as a nation, and we as a non-racist, non-sexist and equal generation ought to understand this for we share a different paradigm - Yes, the ad is a masterpiece, a stroke of genius but that is what it is today, this reality, our reality and not that of Our Fathers. Any disrespect towards atempts of reparation means Advanced Zimbabwean Tactics are inevitable and a divided nation we remain. I do no think that is what we are but if we refuse to tab into yesterday's injustices to find common ground then hey...... Unfortunately, that's what we inherited. a spirit of unisons prevail. - 2012-06-07 12:02

      lol.what past bra? it's just chicken. it's flippen great.

  • zenithdolphin - 2012-06-06 12:28

    Well they have always been controversial, yet have stimulated debate. As far as I know the Bushmen/San/Hottentots were hunted down and ousted by both white and black, and for me the advert (and the comments here) shows us just how quick we ALL are to judge, to ostracize,to project our fears onto others, and to blame. Fact is, hate it or love it, by banning the ad on TV they are giving it way more exposure than they ever would have got...form a marketing POV, mission accomplished!

  • Gatsha - 2012-06-06 12:51

    the advert was cautiously and brilliantly Nandos itself was too CHICKEN TO SPICE IT UP AND MENTION ZIMBABWEANS IN THE NARRATION...thou we all know who was skipping through the fence. so Nandos...stop being hypocrites and accusing broadcasters of being chickens!!

  • Ingeborgh Botha - 2012-06-06 12:51

    I love the ad it's funny to me and it's the truth the khoi-san was here even before the afrikaners. It's a shame realy.

  • sadrick.lottering - 2012-06-06 15:32 \r\n\r\nCase and point.

  • Kar - 2012-06-07 03:52

    is it me or has many people missed the freaken point.the reason for this ad,apart from publicity,was to apparently address xenophobia, this ad is funny yes

      Kar - 2012-06-07 18:49

      my comment seems to have been edited....not cool!

  • Kwajo.m - 2012-06-07 08:36

    I do not find the commercial offensive. There is nothing to be worried of here. Anyway. Enjoy your chicken.

  • michael.job.77 - 2012-06-08 09:36

    Too funny

  • - 2012-06-10 16:17

    bwahaha- I love it!

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