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Cadbury's ad ruled 'not racist', despite apology to Naomi Campbell

Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority says an ad referring to Naomi Campbell as a ‘diva’ did not reference her race.

BRITAIN’S ADVERTISING WATCHDOG has dismissed a complaint by an anti-racism charity that an ad for a new Cadbury’s product, which referred to supermodel Naomi Campbell as a ‘diva’, was racist in content.

The ad, for the chocolate manufacturer’s new Dairy Milk Bliss bar, read: ‘Move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town’ – a statement which Cadbury’s said was a nod at the model’s famously stroppy behaviour.

Campbell, however, was said to be “shocked” at the advert which she felt described her as chocolate – “not just for me, but for all black women and black people,” the Guardian reported at the time.

The furore over the advert caused it to be withdrawn – and saw Cadbury issue an apology to the model, saying it had not meant to offend “Naomi, her family or anybody else”.

That apology was accepted by the model, who said she regretted how long Cadbury had taken to issue it, and who warned that such offence could have been avoided if multinational companies like Cadbury had greater diversity in the boardroom.

This afternoon, however, a formal complaint about the ad from Operation Black Vote was dismissed by the Advertising Standards Authority.

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In its written ruling, ASA said the advert was “likely to be understood to refer to Naomi Campbell’s reputation for ‘diva-style’ behaviour rather than her race,” it found.

The advert which caused the fuss depicted a chocolate bar lying in a bed of diamonds, and described it as “the world’s most pampered bar”.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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