Nando’s TV Ad Pulled Out Because of Threats
AllBusiness.com reports that Nando’s, a South African chicken chain with a number of franchises in Zimbabwe, has pulled out its ads because of threats of violence against its customers and employees. Militant youth groups in Zimbabwe sympathetic to dictator Robert Mugabe, says the company’s ad featuring a lonely Mugabe attacks the dignity of their leader.
When it comes to advertising, fast-foodlike to push the envelope. But a South African chicken chain called Nando’s may have gone too far — to the point where its employees and customers are now getting death threats.
The ad in question features a lookalike of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe. Mugabe, for those not versed in international thuggery, is a murderous dictator along the lines of Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Mao Zedong, and Idi Amin.
And that’s where the fun begins. The only difference between Mugabe and these dictators is that he’s still alive, and they are not. So, of course, Nando’s got the brilliant idea to create a TV commercial called “Last Dictator Standing” in which a lonely Mugabe longs for the companionship of his fellow despots. The tagline: “No one should ever have to eat alone.”
Pretty funny stuff, really. But not everyone is laughing, especially not a militant youth group in Zimbabwe that supports Mugabe and sees the ad as an egregious attack on his dignity. Taking a page out of their leader’s playbook, the group has apparently threatened violence against local Nando executives and customers.
What’s most surprising to us is that the chain actually had the cajones to run the ad, especially since it has a number ofin Zimbabwe.
Taking the threat seriously, Nando’s has pulled the spot. “We feel strongly that this is the prudent step to take in a volatile climate and believe that no TV commercial is worth risking the safety of Nando’s staff and customers,” said the company.
Photo by kristienkahn